SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — A member of the ShelbyKY Tourism team since 2016 and interim president and CEO since February, Chenelle McGee was named president and CEO effective July 1. McGee’s predecessor Katie Fussenegger left ShelbyKY Tourism earlier this year to serve as vice president of the Kentucky Derby Museum.
“I am humbled by the character and vision of our previous president and CEO Katie Fussenegger. Her involvement in and commitment to ShelbyKY Tourism was remarkable,” said McGee. “Additionally, I’m continually amazed at the quantity and quality of work that is produced by the staff. I recognize Sonja Craycraft and Ashton Bailey for their dedication.”
In February, McGee earned a TMP (Travel Marketing Professional) Degree from STS Marketing College at the University of North Georgia. She holds a CTIS (Certified Tourism Industry Specialist) from Indiana/Purdue University and is an executive bourbon steward from the Stave & Thief Society Moonshine University. A key milestone in McGee’s tenure thus far with ShelbyKY Tourism is the creation of the look and feel for the rebranding of the bureau and launch of https://www.visitshelbyky.com/ in 2017.
A veteran of the Marine Corps, McGee assumes the office of president and CEO amid difficult times for the Travel and Tourism industry.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to cause serious challenges, yet, offer unprecedented opportunities,” said ShelbyKY Tourism Board Chairman Ray Tucker.”ShelbyKY’s restaurants, lodging options, distilleries and other small and large businesses are fighting to keep their doors open. We must and we will work together to support, promote and protect these businesses.”
Utilizing her award-winning background in marketing, McGee intends to focus more attention on partnerships, data and innovation to assist with the economic growth and recovery of ShelbyKY. A newly created five-year strategic plan will serve as a touchstone.
“The ShelbyKY Tourism Board, government officials and community partners participated in the development of the strategic plan. While it was put together before COVID, the five main pillars that were developed as a result of the plan hold true — marketing, development, enhancement, workforce and advocacy.”
Looking ahead, McGee emphasized that the ShelbyKY economy is poised for growth as plans proceed with Stargazer Plaza, the Convention Center and development throughout the county.