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MOREHEAD County Judge-Executive Harry Clark and Mayor Laura White-Brown today jointly announced the membership of the new Morehead-Rowan County Tourism Commission, effective next week.

Five members of the former Morehead Tourism Commission have been retained and two new members will join them to comprise the seven-member joint city-county commission.

Newly-appointed are Joan Caldwell, manager of the Comfort Inn and Suites, and Kegan Andrews, manager of the Hampton Inn. Each was named initially to a one-year term. Caldwell previously served on the city commission.

Retaining their seats from the city commission to the joint commission are Jessica Dixon, manager of the Best Western Eagles Inn; Tim Kochendoerfer, manager of Reno’s Roadhouse; Jason Slone, president and CEO of the Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce; Susette Redwine, retired MSU administrator; and Keith Kappes, community relations liaison at Maysville Community and Technical College.

Kentucky law requires that temporary lodging and food service businesses be represented on local tourism commissions. County judges and mayors also can make at- large appointments of citizens interested in tourism.

The new joint commission will conduct its organizational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. at the Morehead Conference Center. The agenda will involve election of officers, including a new chair.

Kappes, who has chaired the city commission since 2006, informed the judge-executive and mayor that he will not seek or accept reelection to that post on the joint commission.

“Serving as chair for 13 years has been an honor and I’m very proud of what has been accomplished but now it’s time for new energy and ideas to lead the way in creating other marketing opportunities available through the efforts of joint tourism,” Kappes said. “Judge Clark and Mayor White-Brown have done our community a great service by supporting this joint tourism commission.”

The Morehead-Rowan County Tourism Commission has five full-time staff members and employs as many as seven temporary employees for special events throughout the year.

Tourism commissions receive no county or city general fund budget appropriations. Instead, the local operating budget of $1.6 million comes totally from special taxes on commercial food sales and temporary lodging rentals by corporate and private owners.

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