This month I took some time to sit down with myself and reflect on my years doing the marketing, writing, city events and media for Delray Beach. After more than half a decade of being one of the marketing directors for Delray Beach and also being the Associate Editor for Frequent Flyer magazine globally, I am moving west. I want to thank my readers and Delray Newspaper for all the support. I have a few thoughts on Delray to share, and some things to think about as residents of one of the truly special cities in the United States.
What brings people to Delray Beach?
For me it was the only city that made sense. I wanted a place on the east coast but far enough south that it had great weather. Had energy and life, but not the hustle and bustle of Miami. It was beautiful and small but had its own personality and had a diverse population of people from all over. It has something for all that come looking.
What are some of the highlights of helping make “America’s Most Fun Small Town”?
It was very rewarding helping guide the city’s growth, while letting the world know what an amazing gem Delray was. I got to work with an amazing team, which became my family. When representing the city all over the world it was easy because we had the best product. Certain events we put on definitely stick out. Seeing thousands of kids’ faces light up when Santa arrived in a helicopter to light our 100-foot-tree was always a special moment, or seeing 100,000 people descend up the beach for our 4th of July celebration.
As far as marketing, are there any ideas that you are especially proud of?
We had so many creative initiatives, fun ideas and media wins. The Be Hot Here advertising campaign, and the Delray to Marina del Rey, coast to coast marketing initiative are two that stand out. I’m still waiting for them to resurrect my Jamnasium in the Vintage Gym.
What were some of your favorite places or things to do in Delray?
I was lucky enough to work with people and businesses throughout the entire city, and the unique combination is what makes the city so different from the rest of the county. There are a couple that were my favorites. Matthew Farmer’s programming at Old School Square was always fantastic and I attended countless shows there. I’d have to say George Valantasis and the whole staff at Salt7 have really boosted the downtown nightlife and I have enjoyed their over-the-top events and hospitality for years. The food at City Oyster, and Danny and Wayne behind the bar, are always constantly excellent.
What would you like to see continue here in Delray after your gone?
I’d like to see the city grow in the right way. I don’t want it to lose its identity or the have dynamic of the downtown change due to bad choices. There is obviously some special sauce that has made this city so popular, but it’s a delicate thing. So many cities turn into a hot spot and quickly fade out. I hope the powers that be make better decisions then I have seen recently. The residents need to make sure their voice is heard before it’s too late.
What are you looking forward to in the next step of your career?
With the knowledge and relationships I’ve gained these years of destination marketing, I plan to help other cities share their stories with the world by continuing to travel the globe writing about amazing destinations and consulting with governments, giving them fresh ideas and tactics to grow their reach and create their identities. Expect to see a larger international media presence from me in the world of travel. I am also expanding my media and PR work to the entertainment realm in California. I will always treasure my time in Delray Beach…but for now…I’m outta here!