CAPC hires Dawson as tourism director
The Eureka Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission has a new tourism director.
At a special called meeting on Wednesday, July 21, the commission agreed to hire Madison Dawson at a salary of $60,000 per year with a moving allowance up to $2,500.
The commission interviewed Dawson on July 12, followed by an interview with candidate Garry Holstein on July 19.
The commission began its July 21 meeting at 4:01 p.m., and commissioner James DeVito moved to adjourn to executive session.
When asked the purpose of the executive session, DeVito said it was to hire a director. Chairman Jeff Carter said the item was on the agenda. DeVito did not give a reason for the executive session in his motion.
The commission returned from executive session at approximately 4:33 p.m. and commissioner Carol Wright moved to nominate Dawson for tourism director of the CAPC.
Wright stated in the motion that Dawson will begin work on Aug. 15 or sooner and will have six months to find a home in Carroll County.
“This offer is contingent on a full background check that will be done by the city of Eureka Springs,” Wright said.
The commission voted, with DeVito, Wright, Harry Meyer and Melissa Greene voting yes and Bobbie Foster and Greg Moon voting no. Carter said he would call Dawson to give her the offer.
After the commission adjourned the meeting, a reporter informed Carter and Wright that the commission should have adjourned executive session before voting to hire Dawson.
“No, it’s all part of the same meeting,” Carter said.
When a reporter objected, Wright said, “I’m sure we’ll read about it in the paper.”
Dawson said Monday morning that she’s excited to start work in Eureka Springs. She and her long-term boyfriend love the area, Dawson said, and she’s looking forward to getting her feet wet in the Eureka Springs tourism industry. Her first visit to Eureka Springs, Dawson said, was positive.
“Everybody was so nice and the food is fantastic,” Dawson said. “I think it’s awesome to have such a good food world in such a small town. That was great. We had some great times walking around and meeting all the locals.”
Dawson said she loves working in tourism.
“It’s fun to help people have fun, and if you’re traveling, that’s what you’re doing,” Dawson said.
Dawson said she’s been hoping to get back into the tourism industry since she lost her job because of COVID-19 last year. Her bachelor’s degree is in hospitality and tourism management, Dawson said.
“I’m very grateful I’ve been given the opportunity to work there in Eureka Springs,” Dawson said. “I’m very excited.”
She plans to start working sometime over the next six weeks, Dawson said. In the meantime, Dawson said, she will be visiting the area to get to know more about Eureka Springs.