New director of tourism down to three

by Jackson Latta

Mitchell Pearson

Rodney Gardner

Cindy Wheat

PRESTONSBURG – The Prestonsburg Tourism Commission met earlier this week in executive session to interview the final three candidates for the position of Tourism director.

The commission met for nearly two hours Tuesday at the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) interviewing three prospective candidates for the position of Tourism director. The candidates have been narrowed down over the last several weeks by a selection subcommittee. The posting received interest from over two dozen candidates.

Tuesday’s final three candidates to be interviewed included Cindy Wheat, an Eastern Kentucky native and former Paintsville Tourism Director, Rodney Gardner, a Prestonsburg native and a supervisor at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, and Mitchell Pearson, from Berea, a 2011 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in parks and recreation.

Noticeably absent from the commissions selection was long time assistant Misha Curnutte. Curnutte said that she was unaware that interviews were to be had that day until she saw Cindy Wheat in the MAC. She says she has had very little conversation with the board since, and is waiting for word from them before making any future decisions.

“I have had minimal conversation, but nothing major,” said Curnutte. “I’ll wait and see what kind of decision they make. I haven’t really been able to process everything yet.”

Board chairman Jim Ousley said that the interview process was a personnel matter, and that he could not comment on Curnutte’s absence from the final interview process. Ousley did say that he expected that the board would have a new director named by the next regular meeting.

The position of Tourism director was vacated at the end of November when the cities first director, Fred James, retired.

The board is scheduled to host their next regular meeting on Tuesday, January 12.

Mitchell Pearson Pearson

Rodney Gardner Gardner

Cindy Wheat Wheat

by Jackson Latta

Follow on Twitter @JacksonLatta

Follow on Twitter @JacksonLatta

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