Woman returns to promote hometown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Suffolk native Marcel Riddick will begin promoting her hometown to tourists on Sept. 2.

Riddick, 37, recently was named the city’s new tourism development coordinator from among more than 40 applicants. She is being paid $38,300.

Riddick comes to the job with experience in both black history and agricultural living museums – both initiatives being pursued by the city.

Email newsletter signup

Riddick has spent the last two years as director of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit. Prior to that, she was manager of interpretation for the Conner Prairie Museum, a living history museum in Fishers, Ind.

Riddick, who has a degree in political science from Hampton University, said she is looking forward to promoting Suffolk rich heritage.

&uot;I’m looking forward to enhancing programs that are already in place,&uot; Riddick said. &uot;It’s going to be an exciting challenge.&uot;

She also expects to be involved the city’s efforts to open a new black history museum in the historic Phoenix Bank of Nansemond building on East Washington Street; establish a working agricultural museum in the Holland area; and helping the Nansemond Indian tribe with plans to build an authentic Indian village.

Additionally, Riddick will man the visitors’ center, create brochures and press kits, and aggressively pursue grants to help fund tourism projects, and represent the city at tourism and travel trade shows.

Lynette Brugeman, the city’s tourism director, said she is happy to have another person added to her small staff. Currently, the city pays for half the salary of a part-time employee shared by the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society.

&uot;I am excited to be teaming up with Marcel,&uot; Brugeman said, adding the fact that Riddick was born and raised in the city is an added benefit.

&uot;There’s no learning curve,&uot; she said. &uot;Marcel is already familiar with the layout of Suffolk and she is up to date on our current tourism development initiatives.&uot;