02/15/06 — Beck chosen president-elect of state Association of Festivals

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Beck chosen president-elect of state Association of Festivals

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 15, 2006 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- One of the Mount Olive Pickle Festival organizers will now help promote festivals statewide.

Julie Beck is the new president-elect of the North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events.

In addition to her new title, Ms. Beck and Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce president Gina Knode, who also served as co-chairman for the N.C. Pickle Festival, also brought home an award from the festival organization's annual meeting.

More than 400 festival representatives and countless vendors, bands and musicians showcased their events and performances at the event, Ms. Knode said.

"The event is an opportunity for people in the business to swap and share," she said. "Travel and Tourism is a $13 billion industry, and everyone is jumping on the train to get a piece of the action."

Ms. Knode said Ms. Beck, a long-time pickle festival co-chairman, was singled out for her energy and enthusiasm as well as her ununusual promotion ideas.

"She facilitated a round-table discussion on 'adding sports to your festival,' and highlights included the many off-beat sporting events she has attended during her crazy travels," Ms. Knode said.

Ms. Beck also wrote the criteria and format for a new scholarship program -- the Kay Saintsing Memorial Scholarship -- which was awarded for the first time during the state meeting to N.C. State Parks and Recreation student Andrew Hawley.

Ms. Beck is also a Parks and Recreation Travel and Tourism graduate student at N.C. State University.

The N.C. Pickle Festival won the Excellence for Best Mass-Marketing Promotion for a compact disk produced last summer featuring the festival and the Mount Olive area. The presentation was created with funding received through a grant from the N.C. Department of Travel and Tourism and the Greater Goldsboro Division of Travel and Tourism.

"We are very proud of our efforts in promoting not only the pickle festival but the great area in which the festival takes place," Ms. Knode said.

She said the N.C. Association of Festivals and Events for 2007 will be held in conjunction with the South Carolina Association of Festivals and Events, and she hopes this joint meeting will generate even more interest in the travel and tourism industry.