Jadwin takes over as Gahanna CVB director
A longtime promoter of the Gahanna Visitors & Convention Bureau has been named executive director of the nonprofit organization about a year after founding director Karen Eylon resigned.
The GCVB board of trustees announced its decision on Aug. 28 to hire Laurie Jadwin to replace Eylon, who left Sept. 21, 2012, to move to Washington, D.C.
Jadwin, a longtime Gahanna resident and attorney, has served as GCVB board president and chairwoman of the annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival for many years.
"Certainly, there are huge shoes to fill with Karen Eylon," she told ThisWeek. "I'm honored to fulfill that role. I look forward to continuing on the foundation she laid. We have tremendous people on staff. I think it's a great opportunity to grow the organization and move it forward."
Jadwin joined the board of Gahanna Events Inc., the organization that presented the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival and Holiday Lights! events in 2006. She took on the role of Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival chairwoman in 2007, the first year the event expanded to a three-day festival.
In 2009, Gahanna Events merged with the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, creating a new mission for the organization that included both destination marketing and programming for Gahanna's signature events. At that time, Jadwin became the organization's board president.
She has served as president for the past four years and has been on the Green Ribbon committee, the festival planning committee, for the past eight years. Those positions were all-volunteer.
"We are pleased that Laurie has accepted this leadership position, and we look forward to supporting her vision to take our organization to the next level," said Michael Tamarkin, board president-elect. "She brings a wealth of management and volunteer experience, as well as a passion for our community."
Jadwin lives in Gahanna with her husband and two daughters and is an active member of St. Matthew the Apostle Church, where she serves as cantor and organist.
Through the process of searching for a new executive director, Jadwin said, the GCVB found two incredible people.
Mary Szymkowiak is the GCVB communications and sales manager. She previously worked for 13 years at the Dublin CVB.
"She has been doing a phenomenal job already, helping drive visitors here," Jadwin said.
Susan Peters also joined the organization as business and events coordinator. She previously worked as director of sales for COSI.
"We're thrilled to have her," Jadwin said. "She has done a great job already."
The GCVB is funded by a local hotel tax. The GCVB annually presents the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival and Holiday Lights! parade and season.