Carson named director of communications for Sarasota County, succeeding Patchen

Army veteran has had 23 years of experience in communications field

Jamie Carson has been named Sarasota County’s director of communications, “a role that continues her 23 years in the communications field, including the past nine years with the county,” staff announced on Sept. 2.

In her most recent position as communications manager, a news release says, “Carson oversaw the department’s Creative Services and Media Relations divisions. She also served as a lead public information officer (PIO) for the county’s joint information center, coordinating emergency communications efforts with local and regional PIOs,” the release points out, and she developed and implemented a nationally recognized crisis communication plan for the county’s COVID-19 vaccine registration efforts.

As the director of communications, Carson will be responsible, as well, for the county’s 311 and Welcome Center operations, along with the department’s Public Records Division, the release notes.

County Administrator Jonathan Lewis pointed out in the release that Carson’s experience and expertise will help ensure “a seamless transition” for the county’s Communications Department, following the retirement of the previous director, Donn Patchen, on Sept. 2.

“Jamie is the natural choice to lead our Communications Department,” with is responsible for the “critical task of informing and engaging with the community,” Lewis said in the release. “She has a passion for public service, which she’s demonstrated across her entire career.”

“Carson previously served in the U.S. Army as a public affairs specialist and photojournalist, earning multiple military commendations and awards for excellence in journalism,” the release continues. “In Fort Lee, Va., she served at the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command, known as the Army’s sustainment, think-tank, and premier learning institution,” it adds.

As a public affairs and marketing specialist at Beckley Battalion in Richmond, Va., “Carson supervised activities and programs for more than 23 military offices across two states,” the release says.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communications from Florida International University and holds multiple certifications in the field of communications from agencies including the U.S. Department of Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Public Relations Society of America, the release points out.

For Carson, being selected for the position “is an honor and an important opportunity to continue the communication strategies, innovations, and technologies she and her team have used to build unprecedented levels of trust in the community’s local government and services,” the release notes.

“I’m proud to work alongside the dedicated people who make up Sarasota County’s team, and I look forward to leading our talented group of communications professionals as we serve our community,” Carson said in the release.