New Tourism & Marketing Director Hits Ground Running Amid Busy Summer Season

The City of New Bedford has hired Ashley Payne as its new Director of Tourism & Marketing, Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today.

Payne is an experienced marketing professional who served as director of marketing for Bask, Inc., since 2018. She built and led the start-up’s marketing department during that time, with duties including creation of digital and print campaigns, coordination of events, and collaboration with local businesses. Payne’s billboard design won a national award from New York-based Outfront Media in September 2021.

As a freelance digital marketer, Payne also has worked with Howe Allen Realty, a locally owned real estate company in Fairhaven, providing social media content, campaign analytics, and marketing consulting.

“Ashley’s professionalism, creativity, and strong connections with local businesses stood out in her application process,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “We’re excited to bring her on board and utilize her skills and experience to promote New Bedford and all that it has to offer.”

Payne joins the City at the height of summer tourism season and ahead of iconic local events such as this weekend’s New Bedford Folk Festival – returning after a two-year hiatus and celebrating 25 years since its founding in 1996 – the Summer Sound Series and its Friday evening block parties downtown, and the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament from Aug. 4-7. All those events are buoyed by New Bedford’s growing arts community, small businesses, and restaurant scene, making the City a hub of attractions for residents and visitors alike.

“On behalf of New Bedford Creative, we enthusiastically welcome Ashley Payne as the Director of Tourism & Marketing,” said Margo Saulnier, creative strategist for New Bedford Creative. “Cultural tourism is one of our city’s best assets, and Ms. Payne’s marketing expertise, performing arts experience, and collaborative spirit will enhance our future as a destination city.”

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— July 7, 2022