The Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center in Jonesboro has hired its first employee. Former Arkansas State University Delta Center for Economic Development Executive Director Shawnie Carrier has been selected as the company’s director of sales.
Carrier told Talk Business & Politics she is ready to take on her new role. While at the Delta Center, she spent several years working to land the convention center/hotel project on the ASU campus.
“I am ecstatic about joining the OHM Team as Director of Sales for the Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center,” Carrier said. “Having played a lead role in this development since the inception makes this move natural and exciting. This new property will generate an incredible amount of economic benefits for the Northeast Arkansas Region by hosting out-of-town visitors that attend conventions, trade shows, business meetings and events of all types. In the years to come the convention center will contribute multi-millions in direct spending to the regional economy, making it one of Jonesboro and NEA’s most important economic engines.”
O’Reilly Hospitality Management, based in Springfield, Mo., is building a 203-bed Embassy Suites Hotel, a 40,000-square-foot Red Wolf Convention Center, and a Houlihan’s Restaurant. The project is expected to cost at least $60 million. Construction on the project is underway and the convention center and hotel are slated to be open sometime in 2019, according to the company.
Carrier brings 17 years of development experience with a skills set in business development, marketing/recruitment strategies and community competitiveness, O’Reilly CEO Tim O’Reilly said. She has a proven track record of fostering positive community relationships with a comprehensive approach to serving businesses, governments, and citizens of Arkansas.
“We are thrilled that Shawnie is joining our OHM team as a Director of Sales,” O’Reilly said. “and I am personally humbled that a person with Shawnie’s professional experience, work ethic, enthusiasm and character is joining us to lead the sales effort for this important project.”
Carrier joined ASU in fall 2013 as the chief of staff for the chancellor after several years of work with economic development groups in the state of Arkansas. As the chief of staff, she led discussions regarding public-private partnerships related to ASU’s commercial land development. Carrier was appointed as the executive director of the ASU’s Delta Center for Economic Development in the spring of 2015 in addition to continuing her role as chief of staff for a year.