ELKINS — After serving as the first director of marketing for the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB, Elkins native Taira Gainer has resigned after four-plus years on the job.
Gainer left her position with the CVB to accept a job as the new West Virginia Marketing Manager for Taylor Hospitality Management, a company that is involved with the renovation of the historic Tygart Hotel in downtown Elkins.
“I loved my CVB position and I loved marketing Randolph County, it’s the best job that I’ve had,” Gainer told The Inter-Mountain Monday. “It’s a bittersweet feeling to leave, but I’m really excited with my new opportunity.”
Gainer said she will still be living in Elkins and working in the area. Other than her duties in Elkins, she will spend work hours in Canaan Valley, Petersburg, Williamson and Morgantown.
“I get to work fully remote and I will be in Elkins the majority of my time,” she said. “I will have to travel about 25 percent of the time and I’m looking forward to being able to market properties around the state of West Virginia, as well as the area (Randolph County) I was already marketing.”
Anne Beardslee, executive director of the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB and Welcome Center, said Gainer was originally chosen for her job because of her recreation, tourism and design academic background. Beardslee said Gainer’s immediate ability to make a difference was a wonderful benefit to the CVB.
“Much of Ms. Gainer’s time was spent working with community members throughout the county, gathering information about businesses, venues and attractions,” Beardslee told The Inter-Mountain. “She did much of this using photos, videos and recently with drone footage. Her development of a county wide events calendar provided a product that community members have wanted for decades.”
Beardslee said Gainer’s involvement in the Mon Towns initiative development and Board of Directors, Leadership West Virginia, riverfront development and future trail development will all be missed by Randolph County.
“Taira brought recognition to Randolph County by the relationship she developed with the Department of Tourism,” Beardslee said. “There is no question about the fact that Taira enjoyed her job.
“Up to catch the sunrise or working late to catch the sunset photo, attending county wide events, working extra hours to get the ad just right for each publication all made her a true professional. It was a true joy to work with her every day.”
Before being hired as director of marketing for the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB, Gainer served as a full-time AmeriCorps employee for Elkins Main Street.
“I was always amazed by the energy and creativity that Taira brought to her job every day,” CVB board president Sue Sheets said. “She graciously accepted any request and was always ready for one more challenge — all with a smile on her face.”
Gainer has a masters degree in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management from North Carolina State University. She graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University with a BA in Design Studies and a minor in Public Relations as well as Adventure Sports Leadership.