Who is that girl?
No she’s not the Mona Lisa but you could be forgiven thinking that after looking at the picture at the top of this post!
She’s beautiful, brainy and tech savvy. She’s Ana Karina Armijo, the Town of Taos’ recently appointed Director of Marketing and Tourism.
Karina has lived in Taos for over two decades. Originally from Honduras, she came to the States as a child with her family. After her parents parted ways, Karina lived with her mother in Ohio (where she got her degree in Design) before coming to Taos.
Her first major gig here was with the Blue Rain Gallery, before eventually breaking out on her own as an in demand web designer and event co-ordinator. She knows a lot about these subjects, and can answer questions varying from “Wix or WordPress?” to “how to keep an itinerary for an event on track?” amongst others.
The (annual) Turkey Trot and the very succesful Boarding For Breast Cancer owe their origins to Karina.
Prior to being hired by the Town, Karina had taken on a major role as Managing Director at xynergy, an award-winning web design firm here in Taos.
Since taking on the job with the Town, Karina is getting to know the ropes, putting her ideas down, coordinating with the Atlas Group in Denver (the Ad Agency currently under contract with the Town of Taos), on the branding campaign Atlas are developing to launch the new face of Taos in the Spring of 2016. Many others would be looking to options like the Canberra colocation servers, but she focuses near entirely on the website build and the marketing side of things.
Meanwhile the Town is relying on the Ski Valley’s big opening and PR push for tourism to Taos this Winter.
We already have snow so no doubt it’s going to be a busy Season but for Karina it’s a chance to get her ducks in a row.
She’s full of ideas but pragmatic enough to realize what she can and cannot do at the moment. Her focus is on the Taos.org website, which is a privately owned concern that has overseen the Marketing aspect of Taos for thirty-seven years. For thirty-five of those years, Janet Webb‘s Webb Design had a contract with Market Taos for all their design and advertising related imput.
If and when outside Advertising or PR Firms were brought in to work with the Town, everything went through Webb Design via Market Taos and continued to point to the site’s url. In fact Taos.org is and has been the de facto site for tourist information on Taos.
This Karina sees as a bit of a conflict regarding the Branding campaign Atlas have in mind.
“We have to find a way to work with Market Taos,” she says. “I’m looking at that.”
She’s also using the time to get her Masters in Tourism Management from Colorado State University.
She showed me a few of the Marketing ideas Atlas (and she) are tossing around. They are hip and fresh and will certainly bring a big breath of fresh air to the old closets full of dried up chile ristras and fading hollyhocks.
Karina is certain to be inclusive regarding all of our diverse and disparate communities.
“That’s what makes Taos so special,” she exclaims, “and it’s what keeps people coming back.”
She good-naturedly posed for a few pictures. We were in her office which she’s still not gotten around to decorating.
“I just cut off all my hair,” she tells me. “For the job.”
Her waist length locks took too much time to manage and these days she has little.
“A lot going on,” she says.
This year has not only brought rewards it has also brought loss; both Karina and her boyfriend Peter lost their mothers this year. With all this going on in her life simultaneously, decorating her office clearly has not been a priority! The big white board lining one wall however, has not been left blank.
“Ah, now you’re looking at my secrets,” she smiles.
Karina can be contacted via the Town of Taos, site linked below this post.
Pics of Karina in her office taken on my iphone
Photo of Karina and her boyfriend Peter on the mountain, care of AKA.