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Jayne Korenoski Retires After 26 Amazing Years

Jayne Korenoski, Visit Johnstown’s long-time Director of Advertising & Sales, will step into retirement at the end of June, marking the close of a 26-year career with the organization.  “Jayne has had such a big impact on the growth of our organization,” says Visit Johnstown’s Executive Director, Lisa Rager. “When people think of our organization, they think of Jayne because she has been so visible in her role with us over the years.”

Jayne joined Visit Johnstown in 1998 after a successful career in radio sales with the former KEY-95.  Rager says Jayne’s role was to generate revenue through memberships and advertising sales for the visitors guide and to help pay her salary through commissions because the budget was so small.  She also managed the advertising program and identified new media opportunities to help promote the county to tourists.  Those responsibilities grew to include event fundraising, marketing, and entertainment.

Shortly after Jayne joined the bureau, Rager says the organization won the bid to host the Keystone State Games for three years, which carried an annual hosting fee of $100,000 that had to be raised locally. “Jack Anderson, who was chairing the local organizing committee (LOC), was concerned about meeting that commitment, but Jayne took that ball and ran with it, and we were able to raise the funds.

“When Jayne came on board, plans were already underway to launch the first Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally, so Jayne jumped in, started making sponsorship sales packages, and began raising funds.” Rager says Jayne also identified ways to market to bikers through tradeshows and advertising outlets. She eventually assumed management of the entertainment for Thunder which progressed to bringing in national touring acts. “The rest is history,” Rager said, adding that Jayne also assumed booking the entertainment for PolkaFest, bringing the country’s best bands for a lineup that includes both Polish and Slovenian-style music, which makes Johnstown’s Polka-Fest unique.

Rager says one of Jayne’s greatest attributes is that she is a life-long learner.  “When she came to us from radio, she had to learn about print advertising and the lead time required for ad submissions.  With Thunder, she learned how to reach that audience.  As destination marketing evolved, she learned about online marketing trends, which didn’t exist earlier on. She took on the entertainment bookings and learned about negotiating band contracts and everything else that goes into hosting the acts.”

Rager notes that while Jayne has contributed significantly to the organization, she’s had a substantial impact on other individuals and organizations.  “Jayne’s door has always been open, and she never says no.  She’s helped organizations with their marketing. She’s participated on boards and helped with so many events. She’s mentored many of the interns who came through our door.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Jayne say, ‘Sure, I’ll help you.’”

Rager says people like Jayne don’t come along every day. “We’ve been blessed to have Jayne be part of our organization for 26 years. She’s had a lot to do with our growth and success, and with bringing a lot of visitors to the area through her efforts.”

When asked what she’ll miss most about Jayne, Rager says, “I’ll just miss Jayne. We’ve been together for a very long time, and we’re like family.  We’ve been through so much together, both professionally and personally. Our personalities complement each other, Jayne being the outgoing, type A personality, always wanting to go bigger. I’m more reserved and methodical in my approach, thinking of the steps between point A and point B. Jayne just goes straight to the result, so I’ve had to figure out how to get there. We’ve struck a good balance, and I think we’ve learned a lot from each other.  Jayne’s brought a certain energy to the work environment, and we’ve had a lot of good laughs over the years. It will definitely be quieter! We’ll miss her so much, but Jayne deserves to relax and enjoy life at her own pace. I know if I call her for something, her response will be, ‘Sure, I’ll help you.’

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