Johnson tapped to serve as interim Exec. Dir. of Tourism

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - On Monday, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau held a special meeting where they elected an interim Executive Director of Tourism.

Beth Carriere held the position from July 2011 until just last week, when she submitted a letter of resignation. But Commissioner Rip Daniels wasn't quite ready to accept Carriere's resignation.

"I did a protest vote, in essence, feeling that Beth left under duress. She resigned, and right now we need all hands on deck with this thing," said Daniels.

Despite Daniel's personal decision to reject Carriere's resignation, the board selected Crystal Johnson to fill the interim role. Johnson has been with the commission for 19 years. She did not have much to say about her new role, except that she was looking forward to it.

"I've very excited that they have the confidence in me to undertake this, and we've got some exciting things planned," said Johnson.

The commission also proposed a 25 percent pay increase for Johnson while she fulfills the interim duties. The search for a new executive director will begin soon, but Daniels feels the commission has a large task at hand.

"There seems to be some concern about the control, and that's not what it's about. It's about advertising the coast, a concerted effort to advertise the coast and find money to do so," said Daniels.

During the meeting, the board appointed a search committee to begin looking for Carriere's successor.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.