Marketing veteran steps into Ohio tourism role

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former marketing executive for Bob Evans Farms plans to help shape Ohio's image as the state's new tourism director.

Mary Cusick worked for the restaurant owner for more than 30 years. Now, she's looking beyond farm fresh for what makes the state cool.

As the new head of TourismOhio, Cusick is charged with working alongside an advisory board of industry leaders to develop a marketing strategy for the state and boost the number of visitors.

Cusick recently told The Associated Press that she wants to hear from visitors and residents to understand what makes Ohio unique.

TourismOhio is in its first year of a new funding model. Its budget is based on the year-to-year increase in state sales tax revenue from tourism-related industries, up to $10 million.

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