WAYNE – The Wayne Area Economic Development (WAED) office saw some big changes in the last six months, with both director and office manager stepping into new positions outside of Wayne’s Chamber. Luke Virgil was hired as the new director months ago, and last week, Abby Schademann began her new role as WAED’s new Marketing, Events and Tourism Coordinator.
The role is new for the office, but Schademann is not. She interned at the WAED office while attending Wayne State College, and her time there encouraged her to take a position as Director of Tourism and Special Events at Beatrice’s Chamber of Commerce.
“Up until my internship I was thinking I’m going to go into the corporate world, be living in a big city and I really enjoyed my experience here and that’s kind of what led me to apply for the Beatrice job,” Schademann said.
Schademann then went to work as an admission rep for WSC, and when the office manager position opened up so did an opportunity. WAED used the opening to re-define the responsibilities of the position and add marketing, events planning and tourism focuses to the job. The office hopes to utilize social media more and create a strong tourism plan, especially with for Wayne’s retail community, and with attractions like the Beaumont Event Center opening soon. With Schademann’s prior experience, Virgil was happy with the hire.
“It was the perfect time to kind of mess it all together, and we know with Abby, we’ve got some serious skill sets with the event planning and she’s got the experience in the tourism office and she’s in that age demographic that uses social media on a regular basis, so we felt that that was a good fit for our office and she’s come in and she’s hit the ground running,” Virgil said.
Schademann had to hit the ground running. In her first week, WAED’s Agribusiness Task Force held their Agricultural Outlook Seminar and Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company had a ribbon-cutting and grand opening, all after a holiday. For Schademann, the busyness wasn’t an issue.
“I’m really excited to hit the ground running and be involved, and really, it’s like coming back home,” Schademann said.