Ann Savage, New TE Associate

— Written By Courtney Hotchkiss

Introducing Ms. Ann Savage, the newest employee of the Park, Recreation, and Tourism Management’s (PRTM) Tourism Extension office. After a highly competitive search, Ann accepted the associate position beginning August 3, 2020. Her office is located within the NC State University College of Natural Resources, but she will start off working remotely.

Ann and a friend with bikes

Ann and a friend celebrating a completed bike ride across the state of Iowa.

Ms. Savage is coming to us from Louisiana, but she once called North Carolina home; having graduated from the NC State University’s PRTM Master’s program, Ann is returning to a place she knows well. 

Furthermore, she may be new to this position, but she is not new to Extension. Her first experience was in an Agricultural Extension office at Louisiana State University. Her subsequent professional experience was with a Destination Management Organization (DMO), also in Louisiana. There she was able to build her marketing skills and discovered how integral DMOs are to communities around the state. 

Ann presenting

Ann graduated from NCSU with a Master’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.

We asked her, why tourism? “I love to travel and the tourism industry is a great opportunity to get people to see and understand the world in a different way.” She says her time in tourism has given her an opportunity to work alongside communities and help people have meaningful experiences and appreciate what’s around them. ”I get to help communities realize their full potential.”

With the pandemic, tourism needs all the creative energy it can get. “Ann is joining our department at a critical time and we are thrilled to have her,” says Dr. Michael Kanters, Interim Department Head and Professor in PRTM. “The tourism industry is one of the state’s top industries, contributing billions of dollars to the North Carolina economy annually and employing over 225,000 North Carolinians. Ann will be instrumental in helping North Carolina tourism industries navigate recovery efforts associated with the impacts of COVID-19 and into the future.”

When asked if there were any surprises with working at a DMO after having learned about them during her Master’s program, she said she was happy to see how truly embedded they were locally and statewide. “They are important organizations that drive economic opportunities for communities through events and marketing, yet much of the public don’t know about them”. 

Ann backpacking

Ann as a tourist herself, backpacking the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

In particular, she was surprised by how supportive people in the tourism industry are to each other, even when competing for some of the same resources and attention. 

“There is a lot of comradery,” she explains, “which has been particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m excited to develop programming that complements research conducted by PRTM faculty and then share it with communities.” We are extra lucky to have a knowledgeable ally and advocate during this tumultuous time!