Schaefer in the running for Florida position, Feb. 5, 2020

Darien Schaefer

The CEO of Visit Big Bear is stepping down to take a position with Visit Pensacola in Florida. Darien Schaefer's resignation will be a topic of discussion at the Visit Big Bear board meeting Thursday, March 19.

Schaefer was one of two finalists for the top spot in Pensacola, but was not offered the job initially. Pamela Johnson was selected. It was announced March 10 that she had declined the offer due to family reasons.

The Grizzly spoke to Schaefer on March 10 regarding another matter, and he was asked about whether he would be staying in Big Bear since he had not been selected for the position by Visit Pensacola. Schaefer told The Grizzly that he was not the Florida organization's first choice and unless something changed, he would be staying in Big Bear.

Schaefer reiterated at that time that he was not looking to make a change nor looking for a new job. "My wife and I love Big Bear," Schaefer said.

According to a story published on the Pensacola News Journal website, Schaefer is scheduled to start his new job April 20. His contract is for $143,000 annually for three and a half years.

The Visit Big Bear March 19 agenda includes an agenda item under Budget, Staffing and Operations Committee titled CEO search. Under closed session, Employee Negotiation items includes CEO resignation/bonus payout and interim management negotiation.

Look for more on this story in the March 18 issue of the Grizzly.

(1) comment


Seems Big Bear is the stepping stone for the careers of those looking to move-on, yet they get top salaries here. Time to change that? This is growing old!

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