Mineola City Administrator Mercy Rushing announced she has hired Karen Hysell as the city’s first marketing and tourism director for the city.
Hysell started her new position with the city of Mineola on Monday. She came to Mineola from the city of Winona where she had been the municipal court clerk / city clerk since August 2016. Prior to that Hysell had worked for the Los Angeles Police Department as a senior management analyst from 1996 to 2014 in a number of capacities including the Planning and Research Division and the crime lab. She also had worked for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks from 1989 to 1996 in which she had been a park ranger, director of park film office and a management analyst.
Hysell received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in recreation administration. Part of her responsibilities will include serving as director over the Parks and Open Spaces Board and the Marketing and Tourism Board. City Administrator Mercy Rushing said she will work with other departments of the city assisting with marketing as needed.
“I’m delighted to be named the new director of marketing and tourism for the city of Mineola,” Hysell said. “I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota where my parents owned a 12-unit motel, so I know firsthand how important tourism can be to a small business and to a city. I’m looking forward to meeting the residents and business owners in Mineola and working together to promote Mineola!”
Rushing said that Hysell is “very organized and she can do a little bit of everything. She was working for the city of Winona in the court and water department as well as some marketing for them. So she’s very capable. She’s well-rounded and so we feel like she will be an asset and can help in many different departments in the city.” She said that Hysell’s organization will be very helpful in setting up the newly-created marketing and tourism department.
Hysell moved to East Texas in 2014 with her husband, Chuck, who builds tornado shelters. They reside in Winona.
Hysell will be joined by Doris Newman on July 9 who will serve as the city’s new Main Street and historic preservation director. Newman’s husband, Jack, resigned from his Ward 2 city council position prior to her being offered the position and the city is looking to appoint someone to fill that position by July or August of this year. Anyone who wants to be considered is asked to take a write-up about themself to city hall by next Wednesday, June 20. Two people have expressed an interest in the position so far. They must live inside the city limits in Ward 2. The term expires in May when the next election will be held.