Local News

Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce hires new Director of Tourism


On November 8th, 2021, Jesse Surette was named Director of Tourism for Clarendon County. Surette graduated from Manning High School in 2017 and the University of South Carolina with a degree in Mass Communications.

Surette spent some of his high school years working at the Manning Times, a local newspaper, shaping his interview and writing skills. This was just the beginning of Surette’s success in his current position with his career.

The year 2020 was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surette struggled to find work after graduating from USC in 2020, so he decided to return to his hometown of Manning, South Carolina. Moving back to his hometown has been the goal for Surette after receiving his education. For approximately a year, Surette worked locally at Simpsons Hardware while making many connections through that job. Ultimately, Surette wanted to get back into the career field of his degree.

“I wanted to use the knowledge I’ve gained,” said Surette.

Surette was told by a friend that the Director of Tourism position was open and that he should look into it.

“When I heard more about the job, I knew this would be a great opportunity for me. As someone who has learned how to speak and attract people, from a communications standpoint, “ said Surette.” “This would be a great opportunity to use those skills and benefit Clarendon County.” The Director of Tourism acts with the Chamber of Commerce. Surette’s job is to highlight recreational activities, local businesses, golf tournaments, and, most importantly, the attractions of the Clarendon County community. This includes interesting people who may want to join the community, start their careers, or even retire. Fishing and golf tournaments are also big attractions for many newcomers to the Clarendon County community.

Some goals for Surette are to make some of the normal events successful that have been affected by the coronavirus virus pandemic. This is mainly focused on the annual Striped Bass Festival. The striped bass festival is a huge event for the community and brings many people outside of the community to the area. Surrete has many other plans and goals for his job as Director of Tourism that he will pursue and achieve with his time in this position.