The search for a new director of the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) entered its final stages Thursday (Aug. 24) when three final candidates for the position have formal interviews in Fort Smith.
The Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission (A&P) will host the three final candidates for the executive director position for familiarization events Thursday with formal interviews from 9 a.m. to noon Friday (Aug. 25) in the Cooler Room at the Bakery District. The A&P will go into executive session following the final interview to discuss candidates.
The final candidates are Ashleigh Bachert of Tulsa, Donnie Crain of Plainview and Cody Waits of Maumelle. Eight people applied for the CVB executive director position, a job left vacant when Tim Jacobsen resigned March 20.
Jacobsen was hired in November 2020 with an initial salary of $115,000. Longtime journalist and community promoter Lynn Wasson was named interim executive director March 24. Though Wasson did apply for the position, she was not named a finalist.
Candidates will be interviewed by the A&P with a “listening panel” present, a news release said. Following the last interview, listening panelists will provide brief strength and weakness evaluations of each candidate to the A&P. CVB staff also will have a chance to give input to the A&P. An offer letter is expected to be sent to the final candidate Aug. 28, the news release said.
Bachert’s LinkedIn Profile lists her as a tourism professional with Tulsa Regional Tourism, where she served as the interim senior vice president of regional tourism from February to August 2022. Waits is the director of office skills development for the Arkansas Department of Commerce, according to his LinkedIn profile, and Crain has been the president and CEO of the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce and Conway County Economic Development Corp. He is also owner of Hollis Country store, according to his LinkedIn profile.