In a surprise announcement Tuesday night, Walton County Tourist Development Council Director Dawn Moliterno handed in her ninety day notice to county commissioners. The move comes a little less than three years after Moliterno left the Walton County chamber to take the position.
"You know it was a personal decision one that i didn't take lightly i firmly believe when you do everything you're supposed to do it's time to move on to the next chapter in life" said Moliterno.
Moliterno steered the TDC through some of the best and worst times for the county's tourism industry. The BP oil spill devastated tourism for the 2010 summer season.
"After the oil spill clearly my work life balance was completely upside down and after coming off of the marathon time of all the things we had to do to overcome the oil spill it just became obvious that it was time for me to put my life back in balance with my family" said Moliterno.
What followed were two record setting years in 2011 and 2012. But Moliterno got caught up in several political battles involving one of her allies, former county commissioner Scott Brannon. She claims not only did it make her and the TDC a target of unfair criticism, but it also put her children at risk.
"Criticism comes with the job but when it starts to get personal and it's unfounded and it really has nothing to do with your professional performance or facts and it really just is personal and unfounded and un-based I just got to a place where I teach them to not be bullied and it was time for me to stand up and lead by example" said Moliterno.
Despite her sometime rocky three year tenure, Moliterno says she is proud of what she's accomplished at the TDC.
"I am completely satisfied with the job performance we've had at the TDC. As I look back at the last three years you don't really realize all your accomplishments until you really go back and track it and when i look at what we've done in three years it's unprecedented" said Moliterno.
Moliterno says she has plans to return to the private sector, but her first priority is making up for lost time with her family.