Discovery Park officials announce addition of marketing director

Discovery Park officials announce addition of marketing director

Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:11 pm
By: Glenda H. Caudle Special Features Editor

By GLENDA H. CAUDLE Special Features Editor “We need to let people know what a marvelous facility and venue Discovery Park of America is. We have to convince them it is true — it’s really happening — and it is amazing,” says Larry Snider of Martin. Snider, the former Director of Global Marketing Communications for Eastman Chemical Co., has been named marketing director for Discovery Park of America, according to an announcement today by DPA president Jim Rippy. DPA is a multi-million dollar educational-entertainment-tourist magnet being built between Highway 51 and the future path of I-69 on the west side of Union City. The site, which is just west of Union City Second Baptist Church and south of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. facility, is the dream of local entrepreneur Robert Kirkland and is being “birthed” with millions of dollars through the Robert E. and Jenny Kirkland Foundation. The 50-acre project site will be home to an eye-catching, multi-story, undulating-shaped and imagination-tickling museum with a signature 12-story glass-sided “fin” overlooking the interstate. Other facets of the complex include a Grand Hall convention center and amphitheater, extensive gardens with a green house and a pioneer village featuring working exhibits of farm life as the early settlers knew it. Snider’s job will be to help the world “Discover” the dream as it develops and becomes an exciting reality. A native of Weakley County, Larry Snider graduated from the former Sharon High School and then from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1967. He and his wife, the former Paula Burton of Martin, moved to East Tennessee after completing their studies at UTM and earned master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He went to work for Eastman Chemical Co. in 1968 and continued there until his retirement in 2004, holding a variety of jobs but completing his tenure in the field of marketing. His responsibilities included building a global marketing communications organization. He also created a global organization of 35 employees and a core group of public relations, advertising and exhibition agencies to help drive growth for Eastman businesses in key markets. After retirement he opened his own marketing consulting company, True Bearing Communications LLC, to provide marketing and sales services to clients in the aerial mapping, golf and transportation businesses. His company branded and launched a new helicopter-based aerial mapping service and sold the service to target clients and he also helped a start-up company launch a new putter into the golf industry. Snider continued in that line of work in East Tennessee until three months ago, when he and his wife returned to their West Tennessee roots. The new marketing director’s interests and commitments also include golf, fitness, travel and gardening and he has held membership in several organizations, including Association of International Public Relations Directors, Public Relations Society of America and National Advertising Review Board. In Kingsport, he was a member of Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, United Way, American Red Cross, Volunteer Kingsport, Rotary Club, Kingsport Tomorrow and Private Industry Council/Alliance for Business and Training/Workforce Development. “Discovery Park of America is quite remarkable,” Snider says. “It will be a huge job to build awareness for something like this.” Once people are aware of the project and the scope of the programs it will support, he adds, it will be time to give them the push they need to make the decision to visit for themselves. “It’s not satisfactory to ‘build it and hope people come.’ We want to make sure they know what an exciting and enriching venue will soon be available in Union City. I’m developing a pre-launch marketing plan and will be updating this as the project progresses and as we refine our target audience for Discovery Park.” Snider’s enthusiasm for the project and his new commitment is evident: “I’m excited about being a part of the development of Discovery Park. It will be a marvelous venue and will be a significant benefit to northwest Tennessee. That’s why I was interested in getting involved and using my experience to help. I think it will be fun and rewarding to be a part of something that will be so significant for the region.” To this point, marketing efforts have been in the hands of a volunteer staff, chaired by Mary Nita Bondurant. The Bondurants and the Sniders came to know each other when their children, Dr. Dylan Bondurant and the former Courtney Snider, married in November 2007. Under Mrs. Bondurant’s direction, Discovery Park of America has acquired an impressive fade-in Web site — www.discoveryparkofamerica.com — created by Delevante Creative in Nashville and will soon have a presentation packet touting the project in an eye-catching, shaped, fold-down format. “I’m glad that Mr. Kirkland and Mr. Rippy recognize the importance of marketing and public relations,” Mrs. Bondurant says. “Having someone of Larry’s caliber working on the project will certainly insure its success.” State tourism officials are also excited about the project and have expressed their willingness to assist in showcasing DPA. To that end, the Tennessee Tourism Website newsletter recently featured a story by another member of the local volunteer marketing committee, Paul Yates, about the DPA groundbreaking festivities. That release may be viewed at http://press.tnvacation.com/enewsletter/. Members of the committee have also provided start-up marketing materials through the efforts of the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council and have planned the recent groundbreaking celebration. “We’re very fortunate to get a person of Larry’s talent and experience to assist with the marketing and promotion of Discovery Park of America,” Rippy said in announcing his appointment. Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at glendacaudle@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 8.6.08

Leave a Comment