Jama Jarrett, Charleston West Virginia CVB
Vice President of Operations/Communications
Charleston, West Virginia
Resume: Composure under pressure isn’t something that comes naturally to most; so when someone handles a high-pressure job with aplomb, they’re going to make an impression. Such is the case with Jama Jarrett, who formerly worked for Governor Joe Manchin as his deputy communications director. Possessing degrees in finance, organizational leadership and communications, she’s parlayed her education and experience into her current hospitality role.
Career Highlight: Being named interim president of the CVB during a difficult time meant a lot to Jarrett, who realized that the board of directors and her colleagues trusted her enough to lead them back to stability.
Inspiration: “Hearing what people have to say about Charleston, W.Va.,—good or bad—inspires me. If it’s a negative comment, it encourages me to try harder; positive comments inspire me to set the bar higher.”
Future Aspiration: “Since there are so many changes and improvements on the horizon for the Charleston area, I hope to still be involved with the CVB and the city.”
Advice: “Don’t lose faith in yourself. If someone isn’t supportive, don’t let it destroy you. Instead, let it encourage you to prove yourself.”
Awards: 2011 Best in West Virginia award for Crisis Communications Campaign for the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, PRSA; 2011 Crystal Award for best overall communications campaign for the state of West Virginia, PRSA
Industry Confession: “Having fun is a serious part of our job.”
Hidden Talent: “I can’t sing (though I love to).”
What Friends Say: Rekko Patton, a friend and colleague of Jarrett’s at the CVB, has this to say: “When the chips are down and some people throw in the towel, Jama finds another use for the towel and keeps pushing forward.”