Thursday, January 3, 2013
Buffington leading Tourism
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Tourism and Recreation Bureau has a new executive director, Lakisha Mitchell Buffington.
She steps up from office manager, a position she has held since March 5, 2012.
Buffington takes over following the resignation of Stephanie McKinney. She began her new duties on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Buffington brings a fresh perspective to Tourism. She often partners with Shanette Folsom, executive director of the Holly Springs Main Street Chamber, to promote events and activities in the city.
Something new this month at Tourism is movie day on Fridays at the office. All movies shown are made in Mississippi.
Buffington said she got the idea to show a film made in Mississippi in the office from movie night that was held on the Rust College campus in celebration of the 175th birthday of the city.
Two films made in Holly Springs – “Cookies Fortune” and “Heart of Dixie” – have been played as well as “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” starring Emmy award-winning actress Cicely Tyson. The film was made in Natchez and Woodville in 1973 and was the winner of two Emmys. Tyson won an Emmy for best actress and actress of the year for her role while the film earned nine awards.
“Critics say it is one of the best films ever made,” Buffington said.
Other films Buffington is seeking to show at the office are “O Brother Where Art Thou,” “The Help,” “Ole Yeller,” “The Haunted,” and countless other movies that are now listed as made in Mississippi.
Anyone who has a made-in-Mississippi film to loan to the Tourism office may drop off the DVD in the office.
Community members are invited to drop by on Fridays and enjoy a movie.
Tourism hosted a holiday celebration at Annie’s Restaurant Thursday, Dec. 13. Drop-in guests included employees of Strawberry Plains, Rep. Kelvin Buck, city officials, supervisors and others.
An end-of-the-year roundtable discussion was held in December to reflect on the past year and to discuss what can be done to collaborate to make the coming year more productive, Buffington said.
On the table for discussion are – the grant proposal process and requirements; Main Street Chamber and Tourism collaboration on a project, “Home to Holly Springs,” taken from the book by Jan Karon; distribution of tourist feedback cards to find out what visitors like about their experience in home tours or business visits; the promotion of education through tourism in collaboration with the schools and Strawberry Plains.
Buffington said these ideas are just in the beginning stage and others will be added to the list after the roundtable discussions.
Folsom, who works as a team with Buffington, said she likes the relationships that are being forged, plus working together to bring the city fresh ideas and being a team player with the new tourism director.
“I am excited and glad we are going to be able to work together,” Folsom said. “It couldn’t have happened to a better person.”
“We do really well filling each other’s calendar up,” Buffington said.
She recently completed her first book of Christian romance fiction – “Fate at Birth – My Course or My Curse.”
The novel will be featured at the Ladies Literary Society meeting Saturday, Jan. 12.
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