For the past eight years, I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of the state of Delaware and its tourism industry as Delaware Tourism Director.

It was an incredible time to be a part of growing the sector and watching it soar following the extreme challenges of the Great Recession.

Having the opportunity to work with so many people all over the state on so many projects has been hugely rewarding. The amazing staff at DTO has worked tirelessly on programs that have had a significant positive impact on out-of-state visitation to Delaware. 

Together we rebranded the state with Endless Discoveries (one of the two most successful statewide tourism campaigns in the nation), developed the Trails of Discovery (which have brought thousands to sites they may otherwise never have visited) and created new websites, social media presences, travel guides, and other marketing tools.

While this message may have the feeling of a goodbye, it’s actually a hello. 

Recently I was asked to step into the role of Deputy Director of the new Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism, under the Department of State. The division is one of two entities created from what was formerly the Delaware Economic Development Office.

In the new position, I’ll continue to work with tourism in an oversight and advisory capacity. But I will also take on a new range of broader responsibilities geared toward helping Delaware’s economy to grow.

The division will have a laser focus on assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping existing businesses to grow, administering the Delaware Strategic Fund and, of course, marketing and promoting the state as a tourism destination.

We are in the process of reviewing existing programs and projects to determine how to better serve small businesses across the state and across industries. It is so important to do this well, because small businesses (0-50 employees) make up 96% of all businesses in Delaware.

As I expand my efforts, the tourism office’s work has been left in the exceedingly capable hands of Elizabeth Keller.

For the past seven years, Liz has worked for DTO, steadily growing and proving her value, competence and expertise. Many of you have worked with her in the past and know that she has been my right-hand woman on the office’s biggest ventures – like rebranding, new advertising, new online presence and much more. 

She is an incredibly capable leader and a truly advocate for the state and this sector. I, for one, cannot wait to see how she’ll make Delaware’s tourism promotion better than ever.

If you need to reach me, the same old email address will work just fine. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to make Delaware the best place to start, expand and develop a business for tourism and beyond.