Former Wilkesboro Tourism President Joins Reynolda Marketing Team
As part of Reynolda’s return toward a unified brand, leadership within Reynolda and at Wake Forest University have named Jodi Tonsic Reynolda associate director of marketing, a new position created to elevate Reynolda’s status as both a local treasure and tourist destination. Tonsic will be responsible for bringing together all three of the estate’s historic components – the museum, the gardens and the village – into a unified visitor experience.
Tonsic will develop marketing plans for the unique shops and restaurants in Reynolda Village, harmonize social media messaging, identify opportunities for integrated experiences and promotions across the entire estate, and become an important liaison between the museum, gardens, and village staff. Tonsic joins Reynolda from the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority, where she served as president for the past 16 years. In Wilkesboro, she worked closely with merchants, restaurateurs and attractions to market the destination. She has also been instrumental in promotional campaigns in partnership with MerleFest, the legendary music festival that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each spring. She starts in the new role at Reynolda June 3.
“Reynolda is magical,” Tonsic says. “This is where I’ve always gone when I need to de-stress, when I need to escape from the daily grind. Now, to be able to be a part of creating the magic for others is an incredible opportunity.”
Tonsic is familiar with building something new; she was the first president of the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority and created the position from what had previously been a solely volunteer-run organization. Over the years, she developed a reputation for implementing effective marketing campaigns and reaching new audiences informed by market research and tourism trends. Reynolda leaders are eager for her to add her expertise to build awareness, increase visitation and expand equity in the Reynolda brand.
“The vision to reunify Reynolda has been a long time in the making,” says Allison Perkins, executive director of Reynolda House and Wake Forest associate provost for Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens. “We’ve long worked together in our individual roles to create a unified visitor experience between the museum, gardens, and village, and now, with the addition of Jodi, it will be a full-time focus.”
As part of the new brand rollout last June, Reynolda debuted a new visual identity featuring a new logo and brand colors and launched a new app that brings the museum’s esteemed art and the history and splendor of its historic setting into the palm of every visitor’s hand. Fittingly called “Reynolda Revealed,” the app connects visitors to stories inside and outside Reynolda, from the art galleries to the gardens and from the sidewalk cafes to the boutiques.
“We want our customers to know they’re in a special place,” says Ken Basch, executive director of Wake Forest real estate who oversees Reynolda Village. “Every aspect of Reynolda is curated, from exhibitions at the museum to merchants taking up shop in the historic buildings. No matter where our visitors, guests and customers are in Reynolda, it is important that our messaging and brand experience be consistent.”
Tonsic has over 28 years of experience in the tourism and travel industry, including experience in group travel and hospitality. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and earned a master’s degree in travel and tourism management from New York University.
Tonsic has lived in Winston-Salem for over 17 years, and loves the “City of Arts and Innovation.” She is a volunteer with RiverRun International Film Festival and Hanesbrands Theatre. Tonsic also served as chairwoman of the Small Town Main Street Promotion Committee in Wilkesboro, and served on the steering committee of the Wilkesboro Master Plan Design & Implementation effort.
Reynolda, in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a rare gem among the nation’s cultural institutions and historic greenspaces. The 50-year-old museum at the center of Reynolda’s 180 acres, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, presents a renowned art collection in a historic and incomparable setting: the original 1917 interiors of the country manor of R. J. Reynolds. The Reynolda experience includes a free app called Reynolda Revealed; touring exhibitions in the museum’s Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing; formal gardens, conservatory and walking trails of Reynolda Gardens; and more than 25 of the estate’s original buildings repurposed as shops and restaurants in Reynolda Village. Reynolda, located at 2250 Reynolda Road, is adjacent to and affiliated with Wake Forest University. For more information, please visit reynolda.org.