BUCKHANNON - Construction on the new National Guard Armory conference center on Brushy Fork Road is moving right along - and so is the Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau with its plans to manage the center.
The CVB Board of Directors on Wednesday approved the hiring of Buckhannon native Laura McDaniels as the new conference center manager, CVB Executive Director Laura Meadows said following the meeting.
The decision to hire McDaniels comes after a months-long search for the right candidate to oversee the day-to-day operations of the new center, which is expected to attract a variety of weddings, conferences and other large-scale events to Buckhannon and the Upshur County community.
"Laura has experience in the hospitality industry, and most recently has been involved in the social work field," Meadows said in an email to media outlets. "With both backgrounds, her communication skills are impeccable, she's familiar with our community and has an amazing attention to detail - everything we need in a new employee to take on our new Conference Center!"
McDaniels' first day is slated for Wednesday, March 19. She said she's eager to combine her background in social work with her passion for the hospitality industry.
"My master's is in social work. I chose that field because I enjoy working with others in a helping manner," she said following the board's decision Wednesday. "I also love the hospitality industry. This job will give me the opportunity to marry these two seemingly different fields together. Being a Buckhannon native, I was excited to hear of positive growth in our community for the citizens and businesses alike.
"I have always longed to be a part of something big which would help our quaint little community out," McDaniels added. "I am hoping this position will be that opportunity for me."
Construction on the conference center is expected to be complete in July or August, Meadows said at Wednesday's meeting.
The CVB has yet to establish fees for rental of the center, however.
"The fee structure is kind of the ultimate question right now," Meadows said. "It's kind of the last piece of the puzzle."
Contact Katie Kuba by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at IMT_Kuba.