SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

March 6, 2013

Marblehead chamber leader to head area's tourism efforts

MARBLEHEAD — The hand-carved wooden plaque on Ann Marie Casey’s desk at the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce reads: “Annmarie Casey/executive director.”

Her dad, who died in 2011, made it for her (though, for some reason, without the space between “Ann” and “Marie.”)

When Casey moves to her new job as executive director of the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the personable, 39-year-old Wilmington native can bring the sign along to her new desk in Salisbury. In mid-March, she will take over leadership of the private, nonprofit organization that receives state tourism dollars and uses them to market Essex County as a place to visit.

Casey is leaving an active Chamber of Commerce in a seaside tourist town where she has worked for almost six years.

“She’s going to be missed, that’s for sure,” said Cindy Latham, the Marblehead chamber’s president. “I think it’s the next obvious step for her growth-wise.”

Casey’s new job also will give Marblehead “a representative who understands us at the regional level.”

This region certainly has a diverse range of attractions. Among its varied destinations are Lawrence, where Robert Frost went to high school, with its historic textile mills; Salisbury, with its beaches and amusements; Newburyport and Gloucester, with their seafaring histories and upscale shops; Salem, with its maritime history, Peabody Essex Museum, numerous restaurants and Haunted Happenings; and Marblehead, with its harbor full of yachts and claim as the birthplace of the U.S. Navy.

“They deserve and require their individuality because there is something special in all of them,” Casey said of the various communities. “I think I can afford them some certain opportunities from their current marketing efforts and really expand their reach, but I also think there is a lot of opportunity for them to work together and to put together regional packaging and itineraries.”

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