Wednesday, October 9, 2013

State cuts tourism chief Karen Ballard

Move is part of Department of Commerce reorganization


By EXPRESS STAFF

    Idaho’s longtime tourism chief was laid off Monday, as the state Department of Commerce commenced a reorganization of its 53-person agency.
    Karen Ballard, the state’s tourism division chief for the past six years and a tourism staffer for the state for more than 20 years, has been pulled from her post, the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported Monday.
    The director of the department, Jeff Sayer, said the reorganization is cutting back top-level management jobs. The department will now have just three divisions: Administration, Business Expansion and Business Creation.


Ballard said she won’t reapply for the manager post.


    According to the Spokesman-Review, Ballard said, “We are eligible to reapply for some other positions that are going to be here. It’s a streamlining of Commerce that’s going to have a few less people, but actually redistribute some of the salaries to be more equitable. … So they’ll be creating a new position for manager of tourism, and we’re hoping that one of my staff will be able to fill that position.”
     Ballard said she won’t reapply for the manager post.
Before working for the state, Ballard worked in the hospitality industry in the Sun Valley area, including five years as director of sales for the now-defunct Elkhorn Resort.




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