Hind Karns Named CCEDC Tourism Marketing Director
Earlier this year, the CCEDC was selected by the Clarion County Commissioners to become the county’s certified tourism promotion agency (TPA). In the weeks since that selection was made, the CCEDC began an aggressive campaign to restructure office operations to meet the needs of a county tourism office. The search for additional personnel has been the most significant piece of the many ongoing changes. As the Tourism Marketing Director, Karns will be responsible for creating and implementing the strategic operations of the CCEDC’s new tourism bureau.
“After an extensive search, Hind Karns proved to be, far and away, the most qualified candidate for this very important role,” said Jarred Heuer, Executive Director. “Hind comes to the CCEDC with an extraordinary background. Her energy and pinpoint strategic perspective will serve Clarion County incredibly well, and we are elated that she has accepted our offer.”
Karns brings a combination of international experience and big picture creativity to the CCEDC. With over 15 years of experience in the private sector, she has led marketing and business development efforts, as well as institutional development and strategic affairs in the public sector. She is trilingual and has worked in various regions including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the USA. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning and development, marketing and communications, capacity building and change management, stakeholder engagement, and event planning.
Discussing her background, Karns said, “In 2007, I visited northwest PA for the first time to meet my husband’s family in Oil City, and I fell in love with the area. Over the past 14 years, we have spent many summers in northwest PA and even considered buying a home in Foxburg in 2016. In 2020, my family decided to invest in a new business in Pennsylvania, which led us to relocate to Venango County.
Karns continued, “Being an avid tourist and business traveler, I have had my fair share of experiences with both the best and worst tourist attractions in the world! My admiration for this area, along with my skill set and the perfect timing within CCEDC, has presented me with the ideal opportunity to take on this exciting role and make a positive impact.”
In addition to Karn’s new role, the CCEDC has continued to work with Bull Moose Marketing to develop the Destination Marketing Plan. This plan will serve as the marketing strategy for Clarion County tourism and will help determine key goals and objectives for years to come. The plan will also provide the CCEDC with a process for developing Clarion County’s destination brand. Stakeholder workshops and community engagement are already underway to solicit feedback. The CCEDC anticipates that the completed destination marketing plan will delve into the necessity for new resources, including the possible need for additional staff.
“Although we anticipate completing the marketing plan by mid-year 2024, we are working hard to ensure tourism promotion does not stop,” said Heuer.
“Clarion County must be appropriately and professionally promoted in the right markets in the short months to come. When the plan is ready, we will be able to swiftly pivot to implement.”
Karns also noted, “The next six months are going to be transformational for CCEDC. I believe the most important task ahead is to create an agile plan that enables us to execute in the short-term. This ensures that we are prepared for the 2024 season, while also aligning these activities with the future strategic vision and mission for Clarion County’s tourism promotion efforts.”
The CCEDC has launched their preliminary tourism website, which includes a destination brand survey. The website and survey can be found online by visiting www.VisitClarionCo.org.
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