Hawkins hired to lead community development
Louisville native Sean Hawkins recalls visiting Harrison County, especially trips underground at Squire Boone Caverns and camping at the Harrison-Crawford State Forest during Cub Scout outings and then as a Boy Scout.
Now 27, Hawkins is still an outdoor enthusiast. Monday he returned to the caves and countryside of Harrison County as the county’s first community development manager under the auspices of the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“My goal is to build consensus with area business people and community leaders, to fulfill their goals for the betterment of the community,” he said Monday. “Rural areas have more character. I figured in a rural area, you would be able to see the results of your work better and people are much nicer.
“Rural areas are slowly but surely changing,” Hawkins said, adding that while Interstate 64 has brought development and change north of Corydon, the rural interior of the town and countryside has remained intact. “Here in Corydon, something special is happening.
“I would like to help preserve that.”
Hawkins earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Kentucky and a master’s in business administration from the University of Montana at Missoula.
His experience and success as program assistant for the 300-member Missoula Downtown Association gave Hawkins the edge among five finalists who applied for the position.
“His experience was just a little bit closer to what we were looking for,” said Darrell Voelker, director of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, who was on the six-member committee responsible for hiring Hawkins. “His work with Missoula’s downtown association was, I think, very similar to what we would like to see him do in Harrison County.”
Another committee member, Gordon Pendleton, said, “Sean’s background had a strong mix of the skills that we were looking for. We are glad to have him aboard.”
Hawkins, whose position is funded by the CVB from tourism dollars under contract with the Chamber, will have an office at the Chamber, located at 119 E. Beaver St., Corydon, phone 738-2137.
Hawkins is a bachelor. For the time being, he will commute from his home in Louisville to work in Harrison County.
CVB director Kristey Nielson said Hawkins’ position is designed to coordinate activities which enhance Harrison County’s viability as a growing visitor destination, including special events and tourism-related small business development.
Other committee members responsible for hiring the community development manager included Nielson, Larry Bennett, Dennis Mann and Dr. Sharon Uhl.