Visit Franklin has added three new staff members and promoted three other team members, the organization announced Thursday.
Joining the staff are Felecia West as director of visitor experience and retail, Katie Murdock as marketing manager and Deborah Corey as administrative assistant. Stacey Garcia has been promoted to senior director of finance and administration, Heather Doleshel was elevated to stakeholder engagement manager and Jenna Townsend is now a sales and service manager.
“We are excited about each of the new additions to the Visit Franklin team and proud to reward the hard work of these deserving staff members,” Visit Franklin President and CEO Maureen Haley Thornton said.
Garcia has managed all aspects of accounting and record-keeping in addition to administering the staff benefit and retirement programs for the organization since 2016. In that time, she has identified many cost-saving processes and streamlined internal processes that have made the organization as a whole more efficient. As senior director of finance and administration, Garcia will continue with those responsibilities, in addition to growing the organization’s ability to interpret and forecast hotel and revenue data.
In five years with Visit Franklin, Doleshel has assented from office manager to this new role of stakeholder engagement manager, showing a natural ability to connect Visit Franklin’s services with hospitality partners. As the stakeholder engagement manager, Doleshel, who is already active throughout the Williamson County community, will actively seek collaborations and opportunities for hospitality partners. She will oversee opportunities to provide resources and engage the community through opportunities like Visit Franklin’s popular Ambassador Program and internships.
Townsend joined Visit Franklin in 2019, where she served as a liaison between event planners, local hospitality partners and Visit Franklin to assist in coordinating meetings and event services. In her new role as sales and service manager, Townsend will expand the services offered to meeting and event planners, focusing on ensuring groups traveling to Williamson County have a high-quality experience.
“Stacey, Heather and Jenna have each added so much to this organization,” Thornton said. “We are proud to see each of them take these next steps and know they will all make a tremendous impact on our local hospitality industry.”
West joins Visit Franklin as the director of visitor experience and retail. She will oversee and craft the retail experience of the visitor center located in downtown Franklin, plus develop new trails and enhanced experiences throughout Williamson County for visitors to enjoy. West comes to Visit Franklin from some of the biggest names in the world of golf, including stops on the island of Maui at the famed Kapalua Plantation & Bay Courses and managing a portfolio of pro shops at 10 Troon golf courses. Felecia’s experience was then recruited to one of the top new golf clubs in Tennessee, where she fell in love with the area.
Murdock, a Belmont University graduate, comes to Visit Franklin from A. Marshall Hospitality to become the marketing manager. While at A. Marshall Hospitality, she oversaw marketing and community outreach efforts for five brands, including the iconic Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant.
Corey comes to Visit Franklin as the organization’s new administrative assistant. She spent the early part of her career as a legal administrative assistant for Vanguard Health Systems and a legal assistant at Community Health Systems. Most recently, she served as executive assistant to the president of Fresenius Medical Care.
“The newest team members join with a mix of experience both within and outside the hospitality industry,” Thorton said. “With that comes a healthy mix of new ideas and insights, which will allow us to continue being an organization leading the way in the travel industry.”