Emily Steen has a heart-felt passion for the place she has called home her entire life.
After finding her way through the workplace for many years, a communications and marketing degree built her confidence she had a talent for a bigger calling. Steen discovered she had a skill promoting ideas and activities to make businesses more successful.
Jobs in the marketing field were few and far between close to her Alcorn County home, so her desire to live in Corinth left few career options in her desired profession and field of study.
And then, it hit the mother of three who was horribly bored at her job with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.
Corinth tourism was searching for a brand manager. It was a match in the making.
Now three and one-half years in her role as Corinth’s biggest promoter, Steen said she is living the dream utilizing what she knows to market her very own community she loves so much.
“I love to come to work every single day,” said Steen, who now owns a Tourism Marketing Professional Certification from the Southeast Tourism Society. “Every day is different.”
Being involved in the community remains important to the Visit Corinth brand manager, who got her Master’s degree in marketing and communications from Franklin University in 2017.
“I have lived here my whole life,” said the 1998 Alcorn Central High School graduate and daughter of Larry and Anita Wilkes of Glen. “I really like to be a part of something.”
The full-time job in the tourism office has been a “perfect fit,” she said.
“Community involvement has always been close to my heart,” noted the tourism strategist.
Her journey with the tourism office has been a learning experience, said Steen, who got her B.S.degree in human environmental sciences from the University of Alabama after earning her Associate of Arts degree in psychology from Northeast Mississippi Community College.
“I have learned more about Corinth the past three and one-half years then I have my entire life,” she said.
And by being the front person in the tourism office most weekdays, “it provides for some interesting experiences while meeting people.”
“People who visit Corinth are amazed at what they find,” added Steen, a family person in her off duty time as she is married to Josh Steen and the mother of University of Southern Mississippi sophomore Max Marsh, Corinth High School senior Ava Marsh and Corinth Middle School 6th grader Lucy Steen. “I enjoy meeting people and finding out how they heard about Corinth and their plans while visiting.”
Tourism Director Christy Burns said the common slogan around the tourism office has been “ask Emily.”
“On a daily basis, she is ready to help in whatever is going on at the time,” said Burns. “Whatever issues come up, she is always there to help figure out a solution.”
The tourism director cited many examples of Steen’s efforts, including her ideas to help restaurants and shops during the pandemic.
“She has become an integral part of this team and wants our visitors’ experience to be the best it can be while visiting Mississippi,” said Burns. “She is passionate about sharing Corinth with the world and we are very lucky to have her in our corner,” she added.
Steen’s crowning moment of her career will be shared on Thursday, Nov. 4, during The Alliance Annual Membership Banquet and Taste of Corinth.
Visit Corinth will unveil its rebrand with new logo and color scheme.
Tourism will keep the current “Enjoy Corinth” tagline, but it has a new look.
Recently approved by Burns and the tourism board, Steen got excited and smiled widely while thinking about the upcoming announcement before Alliance members and City of Corinth and Alcorn County officials.
“I am excited about it,” said the brand manager. “it gives Corinth something more than a historic look.”
“It’s something Corinth can grow into,” she said. “It will not be stale in a couple of years.”
Visit Corinth Tourism Board President Laura Albright said she has been impressed with Steen’s efforts.
“She continues to educate herself in the ever-changing world of technology,” said Albright, as Steen’s duties include social media and website presence.
But Steen’s “greatest accomplishment may be her work on rebranding Visit Corinth,” said the board president.
“Her close relationship with our branding company and her knowledge of how to use technology makes a great combination that will have and already has had a very positive impact on our tourism industry,” said Albright.
Only shown to a select few, Steen said the rebrand has been a work in progress.
“It is a lot of what I have worked for,” she said. “It’s something we have been working on for a long time.”
The new rebrand will give Corinth a new voice. “It’s a new personality in which people can identify,” she explained.
Added Steen, “This was something we could not do overnight. It took some forward thinking. We must invest in our future.”
The tourism brand manager takes pride in knowing she has a stake in the future of “Enjoy Corinth.”
“We haven’t had a new brand in so many years,” she said. “I am proud to be a part of the process.”