New faces at Guttenberg Development & Tourism
By Shelia Tomkins
A new leadership team is now in place at Guttenberg Development & Tourism following the departure last month of Mary Beth Theis, who left to accept a new position in Dubuque.
Harold Waterman of Monona has been hired as executive director. "My duties will include reworking the current GD&T website along with social media integration to target a larger demographic of potential visitors and investors," said Waterman. Other duties will be to facilitate and help plan upcoming events like the Stars & Stripes event and assisting with RAGBRAI 2014 planning.
GD&T President Tom Augustyn commented, "At the present time, we expect Harold to be devoting 15-25 hours per week to GD&T and our activities."
Waterman said that his first priorities will be to get the GD&T website updated and social media going. "Guttenberg needs a stronger web presence to generate interest and more importantly, income from visitors in the tourism market," he noted.
The new executive director is looking forward to his new position. "I found the challenge of working in this role hard to ignore. Marketing a business to a target audience is one thing, but to market a community to the world is another. Guttenberg has a tremendous amount of potential given its location on the Mississippi and the natural beauty it provides," he commented.
Waterman resides in Monona with his wife, Stephanie, and four children. He currently owns and operates Studio 91 LLC in Prairie du Chien, Wis., as well. He is a cum laude graduate of Upper Iowa University with a bachelors degree in Graphic Design and from Full Sail University with a masters degree in New Media Design. Prior to owning his own business, he worked in upper management and investments.
"I look forward to meeting all the business owners in Guttenberg and hearing their feedback on expectations and concerns they may have. After that, I roll up my sleeves and get to work," he said.
Jodie Ball of Guttenberg has been hired as assistant director. She is no stranger to the GD&T office, having served an internship under Mary Beth Theis. Ball is currently attending the University of Dubuque, with double majors in accounting and business administration. She plans to graduate this May. She has an associates degree in business administration from NICC in Peosta.
"After graduation she will be looking for a permanent accounting/bookkeeping job, but until then Jodie works part-time at G&G Living Centers and she devotes about 12-20 hours per week to GD&T," said Augustyn.
Her duties will include email and voicemail communications and following up on visitor leads. She plans to attend RAGBRAI meetings for Guttenberg's upcoming event. She recently assisted with the organization of the G&G and GD&T talent show. Ball will also assist with other events and will attend monthly board meetings, along with various other tasks as needed.
"I was fortunate enough to be offered an internship opportunity here last summer with Mary Beth. She helped me along, showing me exactly what needed to be accomplished each day," said Ball. "When my internship was coming to an end, I knew I was going to miss this place. When I heard that Mary Beth, sadly, was going to be resigning, I thought maybe I should look into the position since I had some experience being here in the office already. So far, I have no regrets!"
She has been married to her husband, Kiley for 17 years. "I have two girls still living at home, Crystal and Cassandra. Both go to Clayton Ridge Middle School," she said. "I have one daughter, Celeste, on her own, who is engaged to be married this September. I also have a grandson, Landon, who is nine months old".
Ball said her first priorities are to try to make things run as smoothly as possible. "We have been looking into the upcoming events and assessing what needs to be done for each one as they approach. We would also like to bring in new members to GD&T, along with introducing ourselves to the current members."
The GD&T president is pleased with the new hires. "Between Harold and Jodie — and some generous volunteers — we expect the office to be staffed just about each day, and we invite everyone to stop by and meet them," said Augustyn.