FORT WALTON BEACH -- An open seat on the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council is generating high interest among local business owners.
“I had some folks who immediately applied,” said Dan O’Byrne, director of the tourist development department.
The seat became available earlier this year when TDC member Tim Edwards moved his residence to Freeport.
“You have to be a registered voter in Okaloosa County,” O’Byrne said.
Edwards, a co-owner of Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill, had served on the TDC since 2009. His term was set to expire at the end of the year.
The open seat, which carries a four-year term, is set aside for a county resident directly involved in a non-lodging, tourism-related business.
O’Byrne said an applicant’s interest in serving “is of paramount importance” to the selection process.
“It has to be somebody who really wants to do this,” he said. “It is a rather rigorous committee. … There’s real statutory responsibility here.”
O’Byrne said applicants also should be familiar with the tourism industry and how the public and private sectors work together to promote the area.
“What has to happen is the TDC has to appoint a committee to review and evaluate every person who applies,” he said. “That committee will take its time … and then make a recommendation.”
The nine-member TDC is expected to name the selection committee at its Jan. 23 meeting.
The Okaloosa County Commission will make the final decision on the appointment.
O’Byrne said the seat should be filled sometime later this spring.
Residents interested in serving on the TDC can submit a letter of interest and a résumé listing any tourism industry experience to the Tourist Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Director, Tourist Development Department, 1540 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Kari Barlow at 850-315-4438 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @KariBnwfdn.