Dalton and Whitfield County have a new saleswoman.

The Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center Authority named Margaret` Thigpen executive director of the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Wednesday.

Thigpen begins the job Monday. She replaces Janet Cochran, who resigned from the CVB in July to take a job with the Georgia Department of Economic Development as regional tourism director.

Thigpen has a bachelor’s degree in human environmental science with a major in hospitality management from the University of Alabama. She most recently worked as interim director of sales and vice president of convention sales and marketing for the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau in Alabama.

“Her experience and her energy stood out,” said authority chairwoman Kathryn Sellers.

Thigpen moved to the Dalton area earlier this year after her husband, Travis Russell, took a job here with the Dixie Group.

“My background is in the convention and visitors field, so when I found out about the opening I was interested,” she said.

Thigpen will earn $43,000 a year in the position, according to Sellers.

The CVB is the official marketing organization for Dalton and Whitfield County. It has an annual budget of approximately $300,000 and three full-time employees, including the director, as well as one part-time employee and three-part time employees in the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center. Its offices are located in Tunnel Hill, near the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center. Its Web site is www.daltoncvb.com, and its phone number is (706) 270-9960.

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