Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – The Pickaway County Visitor’s Bureau is seeking a new executive director following the recent resignation of Charlie Jackson, who has spent more than a decade in the role.
“He will certainly be a hard one to follow,” said Dan Bradhurst, president of the Board of Directors for the Pickaway County Visitor’s Bureau. “Charlie, with his connections in entertainment and music and having run his own business, has given us a unique point of view in running the Visitor’s Bureau. But we’re sure someone will come along and bring their own spin on things. It’s a good organization and well-functioning, so we’re looking for someone to enhance what we’re doing.”
Bradhurst said the board is accepting resumes through Jan. 17, and they hope to have the position filled by sometime in March.
Information on the position and requirements for the job can be found at www.pickaway.com.
Jackson said he was involved with the Visitor’s Bureau for quite a while before being appointed interim director in 2006. It was a role that quickly became his own and remained so until his resignation effective Dec. 31, 2016.
He said the decision to leave was a matter of timing for him, with two grandsons living out of state and involvement with his daughter’s Worthington-area restaurant, Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza, which will celebrate its fifth year of operation this year.
“I loved the work I was doing and the people I was working with,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, but I decided I wanted to spend more time with my grandsons, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time driving up and down [Route] 23 from Worthington every day.”
Looking back, Jackson said his proudest accomplishment during his tenure is the establishment of the Pickaway County Welcome Center at the entrance to Circleville on West Main Street.
“It was an ambitious project for us, but I really believed it would be beneficial as far as welcoming visitors to our county at that very visible crossroads,” Jackson said. “It seemed like a great location to draw people in and offer our community a nice resource of information, where you could go and learn more about our community.”
Jackson said his vision for the local Welcome Center was inspired by a similar facility called Tamarack along the West Virginia turnpike.
“It’s a place you can go in and see art from West Virginia artists, books from West Virginia authors, crafts from West Virginia craftsmen,” he said. “So I always envisioned our Welcome Center to be more than just a place to get a map. I wanted it to be a facility that could stand on its own and be worthwhile for a number of reasons.”
Jackson credits a great staff for the Welcome Center’s success and continued growth, including recently becoming the official retail outlet for Circleville Pumpkin Show souvenirs year-round.
“That’s been very successful,” Jackson said. “It brings people in, and they discover more about the county and see the other things we have there.”
Jackson said he is also proud of several events and attractions he has helped to develop, such as the Third Thursday events throughout the summer months and the Visitor’s Pavilion at the Pumpkin Show. He also helped establish ArtsaRound, a local non-profit organization supporting music and the arts in Pickaway County.
“I do feel as though it has been a good 10 years of my life,” Jackson said. “I’ve met some amazing people. We have a great community of people who really care, and it’s a pleasure to be involved with all those people. We’ve figured out a way to do some nice things by collaborating, and hopefully they will continue to be events people can continue to enjoy in our county.”
Jackson said he will be available to help with the transition when a new executive director is chosen, as well as completing projects like the installation of an electronic sign for the Welcome Center that is nearing completion.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal