By BRADEN LAMMERS
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
The Sunnyside has a new leader.
The Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau announced at its board meeting Wednesday that it has hired James L. Epperson to succeed Jim Keith as its executive director.
Epperson, a New Albany native and Indiana University Southeast graduate, was chosen out of a pool of 65 applicants in a search that began with a consultant more than five months ago.
Epperson previously worked for the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism, where he eventually became the state’s tourism director from 1998 to 2002, according to a press release. Since he left his post as Ohio’s tourism director, he has served as the executive director of the Harrison County Convention and Tourism Bureau in Corydon.
Epperson has also served as the president of the Indiana Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus and is the Government Affairs chair; he has served as a visiting professor of Purdue University’s Department of Hospitality Tourism Management; on the research committee of the Destination Marketing Association International; is a past board member of CenStates Travel and of the Tourism Research Association.
Carlene Bottorff, chair of the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau Board of Manager’s Personnel Committee, said in the release the decision to hire Epperson was unanimous.
Epperson will replace Keith, who has served as the bureau’s executive director for the last 32 years. Epperson is slated to take over for Keith on Oct. 1. The bureau’s longtime slogan has been “the Sunnyside of Louisville.”