By ELISE GIORDANO
White Pass and Yukon Route Retail Director Cody Jennings has been appointed Skagway’s tourism director, and she’s up for the challenge.
“I think Skagway does so many things wonderfully as far as tourism, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” she said.
Jennings has been in Skagway for more than 20 years. She graduated from Skagway High School and later received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alaska.
She has spent the last 11 years with the railroad in a variety of capacities, starting in the ticket office, working in marketing/public relations, and ending as the director of retail operations, experience which Borough Manager Scott Hahn said aided in her selection.
After reviewing applications, the hiring committee narrowed it down to four: current Convention and Visitors Bureau information specialist Wendy Anderson, TEMSCO Helicopters Inc.’s Paul Reichert, veteran cruise and tour executive Noel DeChambeau, and Jennings.
Hahn said due to Jennings’ experience and degree in marketing, it was clear that she was high on the list.
“She has all the energy and desire to possibly take Skagway to a new level,” he said.
For now, Jennings will focus on learning the ins and outs of what it means to be Skagway’s tourism director. Once she gets settled, Hahn said they will focus on the bigger picture.
So what does she plan to bring to the table? Jennings said it might be too early to have any definitive plans, but does want to utilize their social media more and find more ways to get the community involved.
“A little more feedback [from the community] would be a great asset,” she said.
Jennings plans to help White Pass in their efforts to fill her position. As she was hired at the start of the season, she intends to help train her replacement.
As for her new position, Jennings is excited to start making a difference in Skagway.
“I am thrilled that they selected me,” she said.
She replaces Buckwheat Donahue, who retired earlier this month after 16 years in the position.