The tourism industry made a big pivot in 2020 from inspirational tourism marketing to informational messaging. Join Andrew D. Schmidt and Sierra Jones for an overview of how Visit Greenville, NC worked to balance communicating timely public health updates to our residents and visitors, while continuing to support our local businesses and tourism economy by encouraging and promoting their adherence to safety guidelines.
Andrew D. Schmidt, CHME, MPA is a twenty-seven year veteran of the hospitality industry with a mix of hotel, destination marketing, and academic background. Andrew has worked with the Greenville-Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau in various capacities for 25 years and currently serves as the President & CEO for the organization. Andrew has also been an Adjunct Faculty Member of the ECU School of Hospitality Leadership with fifteen years of experience teaching introductory and senior level courses in marketing, services, and convention planning. Andrew holds a graduate degree from East Carolina University in the field of Public Administration and also received his undergraduate degree from ECU as well. Andrew lives in Greenville, North Carolina with his wife Kim and they have four adult children.
A native of Deep Run, NC, Sierra moved to Greenville in 2006 to attend East Carolina University, where she earned a BA in History and Political Science and Master of Public Administration with a concentration in state and local administration, economic development, and sustainable tourism. While completing graduate assistantships at the City of Greenville, NC’s Office of Economic Development and East Carolina University’s Center for Sustainable Tourism, there she found her passion for the industry, came to understand that tourism is economic development, and sharing the authentic story of a destination is the key. Sierra has worked as the Director of Communications & Marketing at Visit Greenville, NC since 2014, and newly created position for the organization at that time, and has worked to grow the Visit Greenville, NC brand and increase tourism to Greenville-Pitt County. In early 2020 (just before the initial COVID lockdown), she earned her Travel Marketing Professional accreditation from the Southeast Tourism Society, and believing you should never stop learning- continues to look for to new professional development and educational opportunities to connect with peers and grow her knowledge of tourism, economic development, marketing, and public relations.