Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced today his director of communications and spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin will be the next commissioner of tourism.
Goodwin will also serve as a deputy secretary for the Department of Commerce, which oversees tourism, Tomblin said.
“I’m honored and extremely happy to have the opportunity to show the world what we know to be true about the Mountain State-it is and always will be the best place to visit, grow a business and raise a family,” Goodwin said in a news release.
She leaves the office after joining the staff in February of 2012. Joining former chief of staff Rob Alsop, former director of governmental affairs Cory Dennison and former policy director Hallie Mason, Goodwin is the fourth member of Tomblin’s senior staff to leave the governor’s office in the last year.
Goodwin will replace Betty Carver as commissioner, who served 14 years in the Division of Tourism and 40 years in state government. Carver, whose husband recently won $1 million on a Mega Millions lottery ticket, announced recently she’ll retire May 31.
Tourism accounted for $5 billion in revenue for the state in 2012 and continues to be a major contributor to the West Virginia economy. Tomblin said Goodwin is the perfect person to step in and continue that success through promoting the state’s tourism possibilities.
“Like many, I have been continually impressed by Amy’s energy, talent and passion for improving opportunities for our state,” Tomblin said.
“Everyone who knows Amy personally-and professionally-as well as those who will meet her as she travels across our state will immediately recognize why I’m pleased she decided to take on this important role.”
Before joining Tomblin’s administration Goodwin served in a similar role for then-Gov. Bob Wise. She also served as state communications director for the 2004 presidential campaign of then-U.S. Sen. John Kerry.
Goodwin worked as a television reporter and anchor in Charleston and Wheeling before moving to the public sector. She is married to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and the daughter-in-law of Secretary Kay Goodwin, who leads the state Department of Education and the Arts.
Goodwin did not immediately return a call requesting comment.
She’ll earn $93,500 as commissioner compared to the $95,304 she made as Tomblin’s spokeswoman, according to the Charleston Gazette. Goodwin’s starting salary is $23,500 more than the $70,000 Carver earned in 2013, according to the state Auditor’s website.