Paula Vann is the executive director of the Columbia County Tourist Development Council and Florida’s Suwannee River Valley Marketing Group. Vann oversees the strategic direction of the sales and marketing arm of the county, and represents Columbia County at the local, state, and national level as the county’s public relations chief. With a team of four, the Columbia County Tourist Development Council manages all sales, advertising and promotion for Columbia County, Florida’s Suwannee River Valley (tri-county marketing initiative) and the Columbia County Sports Commission.
Prior to taking on the executive director role, Vann was a seasoned sales and marketing executive with over a decade of progressive business development, marketing and consulting experience, which generated over $25 million in sales. She spent a majority of her career working in the corporate interior design and furniture industry as an account executive. Additionally, she spent time in the non-profit sector as a marketing specialist and community liaison for thirteen north Florida counties.
A Nashville, Tennessee native, Vann has lived, worked and played in Lake City, Florida since 2006. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and received her M.B.A. from the University of Florida. She enjoys hiking, shopping, sporting events, volunteering in the community and spending time with her husband, three children and Lucky the Golden Retriever.
Cody, a native of the Lake City-Columbia County area, came to work at the Columbia County Tourist Development in late 2013. Since his time here he has worked, in conjunction with the Executive Director, to structure and enhance the marketing program of Columbia County and bring on brand new Initiatives and campaigns. Cody is also a very community involved individual with a strong desire to showcase this wonderful area of Florida to both visitors and local residents alike. He also serves on various boards in the community and is involved in many local events, including Columbia County’s largest event the Olustee Battle Festival and Reenactment. Through his community work Cody received the 2014 Emerging Leader award from the Florida Festival and Events Association. Cody also serves as the Assistant Public Information Officer for Columbia County Emergency Management. When Cody is not hard at work he enjoys exploring the outdoors through kayaking, hiking, fishing and many other outdoor activities. He is also an avid Civil War living historian and accomplished pianist.
Michelle, a native of Lake City, Florida, graduated from Columbia High School in 1998. She came to work at the Columbia County Tourist Development in May of 2015 where she currently serves as the Secretary Specialist (Administrative Assistant). She provides visitors with information on the area, and distributes brochures to all of the local hotels and camp grounds, as well as maintains the Tourist Development office. Michelle plays an important role in the day to day operations of the Tourist Development Council through her dedication and love for Columbia County. She comes from a very loving and wonderful family who are lifelong residents of Lake City. Michelle has two daughters and lives on a small farm in Columbia County with her family. Some of her hobbies include reading books, gardening, hunting, and farming. Her favorite thing to do is spending time with her girls.