In October, the Johnston County Commissioners appointed local hotel developer, Mark McDonnell to the Johnston County Tourism Authority, to represent the hotels in Johnston County. Also appointed by the Kenly Chamber of Commerce, was Melody Worthington, Executive Director, of the Tobacco Farm Life Museum.

After 30 years in international logistics, Mark McDonnell moved to Johnston County to work on the Eastfield Crossings project as a partner with AdVenture Development in Selma. McDonnell said that, “one of the main goals of Eastfield is to create a place that becomes the location for both travelers and local residents to stop at and enjoy a great family environment.” Also a board member of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce, McDonnell says he is looking forward to supporting the efforts of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau in making the community a welcome stop for all travelers.

Melody Worthington of Kenly has been the Curator, and now the Executive Director, for the Tobacco Farm Life Museum for eleven years. Worthington works to make sure the museum tells the story of agricultural history, and the continued significance of the farming community, in North Carolina; entertaining and educational programs are offered at the museum to visitors from around the world. As a tourism partner who has worked with the bureau for many years, Worthington said she is, “excited to be a part of the continued growth of the county through the work that is being done [at the bureau].”

The Johnston County Tourism Authority is the governing board for the Johnston County Visitors Bureau providing oversight for the room tax funds collected from area hotels. The board is charged with promoting the county's tourism assets, awarding grants for marketing for special events, and capital funding for tourism development projects.

In other news, the Tourism Authority Board elected Cheryl Lane, owner of Double Barley Brewing as Secretary/Treasurer, and appointed Randy Capps, owner of Johnston Now Magazine, as Chairperson for the Special Projects Committee. Scotty Henley, Director of The Clayton Center, serves at Chairman of the Tourism Authority, while Rick Childrey serves as Vice-Chairman.

More information on the programs, budget, and activities of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau may be found on the website here, or by calling 919-989-8687.