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By DOTTY NIST
Candidates from a field of 14 applicants will be interviewed in connection with Walton County’s vacant director of tourism position.
The job vacancy had been posted on the county website beginning on April 26 with a posting end date of May 11, in addition to being placed on the websites for Florida Association of Counties, LinkedIn and Destinations International.
Walton County Director of Human Resources (HR) Nathan Kervin said that no additional applications are currently being accepted or were taken after the posting end date.
The following 14 people submitted applications, according to information provided by Kervin, with places of residence identified: Heather Bagshaw – Catskill, N.Y.; Patti Sunday – Panama City, Fla.; Jason Miller – Vernon, Fla.; Brett Markey – Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Blake Allen – Athens, Ga.; Thomas White – Harvest, Ala.; Aleisha Burleson – Santa Rosa Beach Fla.; Aimee Hartman – Indianapolis, Ind.; Kevin Houseknecht – Tampa, Fla.; Jeffrey Homad – Elgin, S.C.; Erick Knarzer – Niceville, Fla.; Ann Marie Maher – Gainesville, Va.; Jeremiah Cook – Rochester, Minn.; and Michael Kneip – Tulsa, Okla.
Walton County Director of Beach Operations Brian Kellenberger, who has also served as interim tourism director since March 11, did not submit an application.
By direction of the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC), the tourism director position is to be filled in the normal manner for interviewing and hiring county staff, as a cooperative effort of HR and Walton County Administration as supervisor for the position.
In contrast with the process for hiring tourism directors in past years, no BCC vote will be required to select or bring a tourism director on board. The process change is due to the BCC having taken action in May 2021 to put the position under Walton County Administration rather than having the director report directly to the BCC.