Penelope Whitman to Help Lead Destination Development Efforts in Asheville, North Carolina

Penelope Whitman Shifflet Award

It is with mixed emotions that we share with our community development partners that Penelope Whitman will be moving on from Extension to an exciting new opportunity in Asheville, North Carolina, where she will manage the city’s destination development and stewardship efforts starting in early September.

For the past five years, Penelope Whitman served as the Community and Economic Development Field Specialist for Sullivan County Cooperative Extension. In that role, she forged key partnerships with communities and organizations in the region and led efforts to forge a sense of identity for the people of Sullivan County, which rich in recreational, cultural, and historic assets that make Sullivan County a great place to live, work, and recreate. Most recently, she worked with leaders in Sullivan County—including Derek Ferland, Sullivan County Manager—to form the Sugar River Region Destination Council. The Council has galvanized Sullivan County residents and stakeholders to form a common vision for the region and has helped to change the narrative of Sullivan County.

As a testament to Penelope’s deep expertise at the intersection of research and practice, she recently won the prestigious DK Shifflet Award for Research Excellence from the Travel and Tourism Research Association, an international organization that helps provide research and data to guide travel and tourism. Each year, the award is given to a practitioner of travel, tourism, and destination development/ management for research that results in key decisions or actions that lead to positive change.

Please join me in thanking Penelope for her contributions to Cooperative Extension, Sullivan County, and the state of New Hampshire. We will all miss her quick humor, keen insights, and the good work that she has done. At the same time, we are excited for her new opportunity in Asheville!


Charlie French
Faculty Affiliate
Phone: (603) 862-0316
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824