Jason Cutshaw of Walton County tourism leadership resigns, effective March 12

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By DOTTY NIST Jason Cutshaw, director of administration for Walton County’s tourism department and co-interim director, has tendered his resignation from his position effective March 12.

Jason Cutshaw, director of administration for Walton County’s tourism department and co-interim director, has tendered his resignation from his position effective March 12.

Having served in his position for over five years, Cutshaw formally tendered his resignation in a letter to Walton County Deputy Administrator Dede Hinote, giving two weeks’ notice. He plans to move out of the area.

In June 2021, Cutshaw, together with Brian Kellenberger, tourism department director of operations, was named co-interim director for the department. This was two weeks after the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) had voted 3-2 to terminate the contract of Jay Tusa, Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) executive director, effective immediately, without cause.

Accompanying the naming of the co-interim directors was a change in the reporting structure for tourism department directorship to Walton County Administration rather than directly to the BCC as was the case previously.

Six months into the leadership of the co-interim directors, the members of the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) were asked for a decision on whether they would prefer the status of the tourism department leadership to remain the same or whether they would suggest hiring an executive director. When this was discussed at the Dec. 7, 2021, TDC meeting, the consensus was that the interim directors were doing a “great job,” although some council members were of the opinion that too much of a work load was being put on Cutshaw and Kellenberger with the existing arrangement and that an executive director should be hired.

At that meeting, a motion to keep the status quo with the tourism department leadership was approved in a 5-4 vote—and accordingly, the tourism department leadership status has remained the same to date.

Expressing thanks in his letter for the chance to work in his position, Cutshaw noted, “I’ve greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities I’ve had to grow in my tourism field and help develop a topnotch team that I know will do great things, and I’ve learned to balance supporting multiple different areas not just tourism but government, thankful that Walton County truly is a family, all of which I will take with me throughout my career.”

He pledged to do everything possible during his last two weeks on the job to complete his duties and train other team members in order to aid with transition.

“I wish the county continued success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future,” Cutshaw concluded.

Contacted by the Herald/Breeze on Feb. 28, Cutshaw confirmed that he would be moving out of the area to Colorado. He commented that the decision to leave had been a hard one.

With tourism department leadership now reporting to Walton County Administration, the hiring of a replacement for Cutshaw will be the responsibility of administration and Walton County Human Resources (HR) rather than that of the BCC.

Asked about the status of these efforts on Feb. 28, Walton County Human Resources Director Nathan Kervin said that HR had not yet posted the position.

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