Local woman tapped for seat on Commission

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Monett business owner, Sharon Garrett, was named to the Missouri Tourism Commission by Gov. Matt Blunt on Sept. 12.

"I believe tourism is an important part of state government because of the money it brings into the state," said Garrett. "With the increasing number of businesses we have in southwest Missouri, I feel like our economy is growing, which is bound to draw people to the state.

"Of course, in this position I will have to keep the whole state's interest at heart," said Garrett.

Around a year ago, Garrett received a call from a representative in Blunt's office, who asked if she would be interested in serving on any of the state boards or commissions.

"He said they were looking for women in business to serve on some of the state boards and asked if I would submit a resume," said Garrett.

After researching some of the state boards and commissions on-line, Garrett submitted a resume to Blunt's office.

"I was offered a couple of other positions that either met more often or didn't really interest me," said Garrett. "Then I was told that a commissioner's position on the Tourism Commission had expired and asked if I was interested in it."

Garrett has been a member of the Monett Downtown Betterment Group, the Monett Festival of Lights Committee, the Precious Moments Advisory Board, the First State Bank Board of Directors and the Monett Chamber of Commerce. She has also served as president of the Monett Chamber of Commerce.

Garrett's local experience in economic and community development attracted her to the tourism commission position.

Although Blunt appointed Garrett in September, she will serve as an interim board member until she is confirmed in January. Senator Jack Goodman will be presenting Garrett at the legislative session.

"As a businesswoman and local community activist, Sharon knows firsthand how important tourism is to our state and local economies," said Blunt. "I appreciate her interest in serving on this important commission."

Garrett has attended one Missouri Tourism Commission special meeting. During the meeting, the commission discussed appointment of a director. Garrett said she is anxious to attend a regularly scheduled meeting, which could be held later this year.

"I don't have any goals yet," said Garrett. "I just want to get in there and see what they do."

Garrett is the owner of The Trunk, a children's clothing store in Monett. She will replace Raeanne Presley, the co-ownerof Presley's Country Jubilee in Branson. Garrett's term will run from January of 2007 to January of 2010.

The Missouri Tourism Commission consists of 10 members, including the lieutenant governor and a senator and state representative from each political party.

The governor appoints five members, which usually are from different areas of the state. Only three of the appointees can be members of the governor's party.

The Missouri Division of Tourism creates jobs and increases tax revenues across the state by promoting growth in the travel industry. The Division works with national research firms to assess the effect of travel spending on the economy, tax revenues and employment.

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