SCHENECTADY -- When Angela Kelly first joined Discover Schenectady, her main goal was to increase group business, encouraging tourists to visit a revitalized Schenectady.
As she takes on a new role as interim executive director, her goal remains unchanged.
“That goal today really stays the same,” Kelly said Thursday in a phone interview. “But we’re doing it now in a COVID era. So the goal now is, how do we stay in front of the people who make the decisions, where they’re bringing their group business, to make sure that [we] stay on top of mind?”
Kelly’s appointment was announced Wednesday after Becky Daniels left the organization in June. Kelly previously served as the director of sales and product development, and Discover Schenectady — a non-profit organization that promotes travel, tourism, conference and convention opportunities in Schenectady County — hopes she can use her background in hospitality, association management, and business development to “build upon the successful tourism boost that Schenectady County has seen in recent years.”
Along with Kelly’s appointment, Kristina Ranalli, former marketing assistant, has been named Discover Schenectady’s content and marketing manager.
“Angela and Kristina have both been a key part of the Discover Schenectady team,” said Jeff McDonald, president of Discover Schenectady and member of the Schenectady County Legislature. “The Discover Schenectady Board of Directors is fully confident that the internal promotions will elevate the hard work accomplished by the office thus far to the next level.”
Kelly said Discover Schenectady is in the “same boat” as other organizations when it comes to navigating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, she said the organization has made sure its content has been centered around places that were reopening and how they’d operate during the pandemic.
“We’ve been pivoting our efforts,” Kelly said. “And, every day, as new information comes out, we’re making sure we stay on top of that and then come up with a plan... . We wanted to make sure we kept our messaging relevant and updated as changes came about.”
Kelly wants to bring Discover Schenectady to “the next level” after spending the last few years emphasizing Schenectady’s revitalization.
“A brand has been created, our office has been established and now we can make sure that we are bringing in group business at a dominant pace,” Kelly said.