Shiloh National Military Park’s new superintendent is now on the job.
Thirty-year National Park Service employee Allen Etheridge was introduced to the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau board via a Zoom meeting Tuesday morning with tourism board members, tourism director Christy Burns and tourism brand manager Emily Steen.
Supervisory Park Ranger Ashley Berry introduced her new boss, who has been on the job at Shiloh for three weeks.
“I am excited to be here,” Etheridge told the group. “I will do the best I can to help get people to visit Corinth.”
The Shiloh superintendent said he was familiar with Corinth and the Crossroads area because he once lived in Tupelo when he worked with the Natchez Trace Parkway.
“I am all about being creative and doing different things,” noted Etheridge, who said he and his wife, Shanna Ramsey, plan to live in Adamsville, Tenn., where they have put an offer on a home. “I want to help people in our park and in our communities.”
The Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center is part of the Shiloh park unit and Etheridge said he has visited Corinth, including a trip to experience downtown Corinth.
Since 2015, Etheridge has served as superintendent of the Southeast Arizona Group, consisting of Chiricahua National Monument, Coronado National Memorial and Fort Bowie National Historic Site in Cochise County, Arizona.
Etheridge began working with NPS as a seasonal park ranger, largely in the southeast and southwest, according to a Shiloh news release posted last August on the Shiloh website.
In addition to his assignment on the parkway, his assignments include service at Assateague Island National Seashore, Everglades National Park and Big Bend National Park & Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.
Etheridge, a U.S. Navy Reservist, is a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in social science.
Berry told board members that Shiloh park is working on 2021 events and due to COVID-19, the park service will focus more on small events.
“We are not going to have events which draw large crowds,” said Berry. “There will be no concerts.”
The park will focus more on interpretive activities designed to draw smaller groups such as ranger-led hikes and walking tours.
Tuesday’s 30-minute session for the tourism board was the first meeting for new board member Vicki Vanderford, operations manager at Holiday Inn Express.
She is a joint city-county appointee and represents the motel industry, one of two required by the tourism board by-laws. The other motel appointee is Rickey Marecle, director of operations for Little Properties and general manager for Hampton Inn.
Vanderford replaces Ricky James on the board.
Burns read James’ resignation letter to board members as the former board president thanked fellow board members for their efforts and he stressed how important tourism efforts mean to Corinth.