Community & Economic Development Field Specialist
As Community and Economic Development Field Specialist in Sullivan County, Penny Whitman’s work is focused on building the capacity of community and regional leaders to implement effective strategies to grow and sustain the regional economy and strengthen communities, focusing on downtown development, business retention and expansion, and growing the recreational economy.
Penny's expertise is based in destination management, sustainable tourism policy and development, public-private partnerships, and regional marketing and promotion. Before joining Extension, she served as a sustainable tourism development specialist in the Republic of Palau (Micronesia) through Peace Corps Response, where she guided the framing of the national responsible tourism policy and action plan as well as worked with public and private sector groups to complete tourism assessments of natural and cultural assets in rural communities. She previously served as editor in chief of Courier magazine, the official magazine of the National Tour Association, an international travel and tourism industry organization. She holds a Master of Tourism Administration degree with a focus on sustainable destination management from The George Washington University School of Business and a B.A. in English from the University of New Hampshire.