The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission has hired Sheri Storie as their new director. Storie has been the interim executive director of the Pine Bluff Convention Center since March 2017 and has worked for the convention center for more than 14 years. She will now be heading the convention center visitors bureau.

A&P commissioners William Moss, Alderwoman Thelma Walker, Wanda Bateman and Rosie Pettigrew voted to hire Storie while Alderman Glen Brown Jr. voted against the measure. They took this action Monday afternoon after meeting in executive session for 30 minutes. Brown said he wished to extend the process of reviewing the applicants.

Advertising and Promotion commissioners voted to have Moss negotiate with Storie to earn a salary not to exceed $65,000. After the meeting, Storie said she is eager to begin her new position, which will involve recruiting tourists to Pine Bluff attractions.

“I am really excited about the new way we are going to market, how we are going to market Pine Bluff, and continuing to recruit groups to come to Pine Bluff for events, conferences, sporting events, that type of thing,” Storie said.

The Civic Auditorium and Complex Commission hired Joseph McCorvey as executive director of the Pine Bluff Convention Center last month. Civic Auditorium and Complex commissioners oversee the operations of the convention center. Commissioners are appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. Commissioners are not paid for their service.

Storie said she will work with McCorvey to attract tourists to Pine Bluff. She has already marketed Pine Bluff in her current position.

“We would promote Pine Bluff and all of our attractions at trade shows, through advertising, networking with our colleagues throughout the state, going to bus tour groups and working closely with our peers around the state,” Storie said. “There are several avenues that we promote and market Pine Bluff.”

The Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame is housed at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, and “one of our major goals is to get (it) on the map and make people aware that it is here, not just in Pine Bluff but in the Convention Center,” Storie said. “We are really excited on ways to market that.”

The other applicants for this job were Sherry Livingston, the publisher and editor of Markus Magazine; Valenya Franks, a training solutions specialist at CAE USA; and Donna Ryles, a program coordinator at the Natural Resources Commission.

Advertising and Promotion Commissioners oversee money collected by the A&P tax, which is two percent on the sale of prepared foods and three percent on hotel stays. This tax is also known as the hamburger tax. Moss has said the A&P director will be paid for by money as specified by the City of Pine Bluff Code of Ordinances Sec. 13-49.