Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports has named Kelsey Rush president and CEO in waiting. Her new role within the organization will commence when current president and CEO Don Staley retires.
Rush returned to TTS one year ago as vice president of marketing and communications after spending five years with the organization from 2010-2015.
“As I transition out of my role as president and CEO at TTS, it’s my belief that Kelsey and the board will execute our succession plan and the organization will achieve new heights under her leadership and vision to become one of the top destination marketing organizations in the region,” said Staley.
Staley hired Rush in 2010. Then he left to lead Foley Sports Tourism, before returning in 2017. Under Staley’s leadership, TTS has increased hotel room nights, increased the number of events and boosted the agency funding.
Rush has experience in nonprofit and the private sector. Prior to returning to TTS, Rush served as vice president of marketing and communications for Bryant Bank. Her experience ranges from strategic marketing and communications to brand management, business development, event management, sales and fundraising and media buying.
Rush currently serves on the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama executive committee as vice chair for marketing and communications, and volunteers for Junior Achievement and several other local organizations. Rush is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Alabama. She also holds the travel marketing professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society.
“TTS is excited about the opportunity to work with Kelsey as our new president and CEO in waiting. We have been extremely pleased with her and appreciate her dedication to TTS and her passion for serving our community,” said Samyra Snoddy, TTS board chair and senior revenue officer for the city of Tuscaloosa.