HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - In a surprise announcement, the head of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that she is stepping down. Beth Carriere is known for her dedication to tourism on the Gulf Coast, something Biloxi Councilman Kenny Glavan says will be missed.
"We're kind of asking ourselves a lot of questions today, because her leadership was one we look forward to when we had tourism issues," said Glavan.
She took over as the director of the Harrison County Tourism Commission in July 2011. Before she was director of tourism in Harrison County, she worked in Hancock County where colleagues like Bill Lady say she was full of ideas.
"She's just very creative. Everything she does, she works very hard and long hours and I thought she accomplished tremendous things, especially over in Hancock County," said Lady.
During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers created a tri-county tourism commission covering Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties. In her time as director she has lead several successful projects.
"When you look for someone with leadership quality, and that can speak to people all across the region on tourism issues, again you can point to Beth Carriere," said Glavan.
Carriere's contract as director was supposed to run until July of next year, but now the board unexpectedly has some big shoes to fill.
"I'm sure there will be a search. I'm sure that's going to be the immediate attention, and we'll look for someone with the leadership qualities and communication qualities that will help," said Glavan.
Her resignation will take effect November 8th, 2013.