Our Team


Jim Browder – Executive Director

Jim's entire career has included most all aspects of the hospitality business, working with great people in hotels, resorts, attractions and destination management organizations. This is a “return” to the Crystal Coast for Jim, as his parents lived in Beaufort many years ago when stationed at Cherry Point Marine Corp Air Station. Jim is enjoying his free time at the beach, golfing, boating, fishing… all within minutes of the office!



Karen Gould – Director of Digital and Event Marketing

Karen was born and raised on the Crystal Coast but spent many years living in various other states and overseas before returning to put roots down back in her hometown. Karen’s background is in digital production and project management so when the newly developed Director of Digital and Event Marketing position at the Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority (CCTDA) presented itself, she jumped at the opportunity.
That was in early 2016, now she wears many hats for the CCTDA and is the liaison between the CCTDA and its many county partners. If there is anything you need to know or obtain in regard to the Crystal Coast, she is the one-stop shop for all your needs.
Karen is also president of the 501c3, Beaufort Arts and Music, Inc. and helps to put on several annual events in the county. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UNCW as a double major in Marketing and Finance. She currently resides in Morehead City, NC with her son Hayden.



Rita LeClair – Administration/TDA Grants

Rita has lived at the Crystal Coast most of her life and has been a CCTDA team member since 1996.  She works in administration and with our grant and event funding programs but has also served in various other roles over the years.



Ellen Johnson – Senior Sales Manager

Ellen joined The Crystal Coast in December 2019.
She brings with her over 25 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, including tour operations experience, having been Director of Tour Operations for two of New England’s premier tour operators and as the Director of Sales and Marketing with the Eastern Connecticut/Mystic area Tourism District.
She is responsible for sales in all markets at the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority.



Chris Nakamura – Visitor Center Coordinator 

Chris has lived on the Crystal Coast for over 24 years and after holding various careers in Graphic Design, Video Productions and Administrative Assistance joined the Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority a little over three years ago.  As the Visitor Center Coordinator, she continually works with our outside agencies to promote and provide the most current information about our area, events and attractions to our many visitors, traveling groups and colleagues.  When away from her desk she can often be found boating, sailing, beachcombing or offshore fishing with her husband and two grown children.



Sharon Fulcher – Visitor Center Coordinator 

While Sharon has been a North Carolinian her whole life, she’s a 36-year Crystal Coast Convert.  She spent most of her life counseling and teaching, 4 years in special education and 28 years as an elementary school counselor.  In fact, if you include the work, she had to do on her two crazy brothers, she’s still teaching and counseling (and yes, throw her husband in the crab pot too!).  She has a daughter at Appalachian State and a 15-year-old good ole boy name Chester, who as any dog lover can attest, never lets her down and never lets her frown.   Like most folks down here, Sharon loves the beach more than Bette Midler and loves family and friends more than Ross and Rachel.  Sharon has been with the Tourism Development Authority for 4 years. She is the coordinator for Crystal Coast Welcome Center in Emerald Isle.