Golightly picked to direct chamber
August 20, 2012
By Emma Breysse
Jeff Golightly of Togwotee Mountain Lodge will be the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce’s next executive director, the chamber announced over the weekend.
Golightly also serves as treasurer for the Travel and Tourism joint powers board, a town and county body that holds the purse strings of $3.5 million in specific purpose excise tax funds.
He replaces Tim O’Donoghue, who announced his resignation at the beginning of the summer. O’Donoghue has directed the chamber for more than seven years.
“I’m excited to be there,” Golightly said in a phone interview Saturday. “I’m honored to be selected. I think I’m following a great leader in Tim O’Donoghue, and I’m excited to build on that foundation he’s leaving for me.”
O’Donoghue has been credited with rebuilding the chamber’s reputation, finances and staff. He is set to vacate the position at the end of August. Golightly will take over Sept. 17.
When O’Donoghue announced his resignation, Kevin Olson, past chairman of the chamber board and co-chairman of the search committee, said the new executive director would play a key role in shifting the organization’s focus to attracting conventions and meetings, and marketing Jackson as a destination.
Golightly agrees with the goal of making the chamber “more guest-facing.” His experiences at Togwotee Mountain and on the Travel and Tourism board will be useful in meeting that goal, he said.
Specifically, he said, working through four ownership changes at Togwotee Mountain Lodge and helping to market the lodge as a destination will help him do the same for the chamber and Jackson Hole. He also said he is well acquainted with some key community stakeholders through his time on the Travel and Tourism board.
“It’s certainly not just about tourism,” he said. “We certainly want to foster and advocate for businesses of all types. I do think we can all agree tourism is a very key industry for Jackson Hole.”
He said he will spend the first several days at his new job settling into the environment and reaching out to chamber members.
Golightly has worked at Togwotee Mountain Lodge for 17 years. He has served as its general manager since 2000, and in 2008 was given district manager responsibilities by the lodge’s current owners, ARAMARK. He and his wife, Amy, an advertising sales representative at the Jackson Hole News&Guide, enjoy mountain biking, climbing, hiking and snowboarding
The chamber plans to introduce Golightly to the public at a reception at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Wort Hotel. Golightly will give a brief speech at the reception, which is open to all.