By LYNN RAYBERGPublished February 09, 2018 05:56:49A new assistant executive at a travel agency in the Indianapolis suburb of Cahokia has been hired by the company she co-founded in 2015.
The hire, which was announced on Tuesday, follows a two-year search by the agency to hire a new chief executive.
In October, Cahokia announced it was seeking a chief executive to replace longtime executive Sarah Payne, who has been with the company for 15 years.
She was appointed chief executive in April.
Payne was also an adviser to Gov.
Cahokia is an economic development and tourism hub that draws people from across the U.S.
A statement from Cahokia said the assistant chief’s role will be to help lead the hiring and retention of talented, motivated individuals for the new role.
“I’m honored and humbled to be joining Cahokia, where I’ve enjoyed working with and learning from people from the industry,” said Jessica R. Smith, chief executive of Travel and Tourism of Caholla.
“As the chief executive, I will continue to strive to make sure that Cahokia continues to deliver the best value to our customers and our community, while continuing to invest in new ways to make the travel experience better for everyone.”
Smith said the company plans to hire four to five full-time employees during her tenure.
“We are confident that Jessica R Smith will be a tremendous asset to the company and the community, and we look forward to welcoming her to Cahokia and her exciting new role,” the statement said.
Payne, a longtime travel agent, was the head of travel and tourism for the company that operates the Cahokia International Airport, which is home to major U.A.E. conferences and trade shows.
She has served as chief executive for the Indianapolis area for the past 10 years.
She has served on the board of directors of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, which has a financial stake in Cahokia.