Goodwin named West Virginia tourism chief

Amy Shuler Goodwin

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s communications director, Amy Shuler Goodwin, will be West Virginia’s next tourism commissioner and deputy commerce secretary.

Goodwin will replace current tourism chief Betty Carver, who plans to retire May 31. Goodwin, who will report to Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, becomes the department’s second deputy commerce secretary. Joshua Jarrell serves as Burdette’s deputy secretary and legal counsel

Goodwin starts her new job on June 1.

“I’m extremely happy to have the opportunity to show the world what we know to be true about the Mountain State: It is and always will be the best place to visit, grow a business and raise a family,” Goodwin said in a prepared statement Thursday.

Goodwin started working as Tomblin’s communications director in February 2012. She has served as the governor’s spokeswoman through several public emergencies, including the June 2012 derecho, Superstorm Sandy in October of that year, and the Freedom Industries chemical spill that disrupted water service for 300,000 West Virginians in January.

As Tomblin’s communications director, Goodwin oversaw four staff members. Goodwin also supervised communications directors at other state agencies, and took part in helping shape policy in the Governor’s Office.

“Like many, I have been continually impressed by Amy’s energy, talent and passion for improving opportunities for our state,” Tomblin said. “Everyone who knows Amy personally and professionally, as well as those who will meet her as she travels across the state, will immediately recognize why I’m pleased she decided to take on this important role [as tourism commissioner].”

Goodwin previously worked as chief spokeswoman for former Gov. Bob Wise. Goodwin also has served as West Virginia communications director for former presidential candidate John Kerry during the 2004 election, and as spokeswoman for the City of Charleston. She is a former news anchor and reporter for WCHS-TV in Charleston and WTRF-TV in Wheeling. She is married to Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for West Virginia’s Southern District, and is the daughter-in-law of state Education and the Arts Secretary Kay Goodwin.

Between 2004 and 2012, Goodwin worked as the managing member of the Goodwin Group, a public relations firm that she founded. In that job, she represented law firms, health care organizations, trade groups, nonprofits, labor unions, and small and large companies.

Goodwin made $95,304 as Tomblin’s spokeswoman. Her new salary will be $93,500 in her dual role as tourism commissioner and deputy commerce secretary. Carver earned $70,000 last year as tourism commissioner.

Tomblin’s former deputy communications director, Jacqueline Proctor, now works as deputy tourism commissioner.

The state Division of Tourism is one of several agencies within the Department of Commerce.

Goodwin is the second major Tomblin aide to depart the Governor’s Office in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Tomblin’s public policy director, Hallie Mason, announced her resignation to spend more time with her family. Mason has worked on Tomblin’s staff since 2010.

Tomblin is expected to appoint a new communications director by the end of next week.

Reach Eric Eyre at or 304-348-4869.

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