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The Hernando County Tourist Development Council will identify, create, support, and enhance activities, consistent with community assets that increase visitation and provide local economic impact.


Valerie M. Pianta

Economic Development Director

Ms. Pianta joined the Hernando County Office of Economic Development in 2002.  As Director of Economic Development her areas of responsibility include the Brooksville – Tampa Bay Regional Airport & Technology Center, Tourism and Economic Development which includes business recruitment, retention and expansion.  Valerie serves as the Chairperson for the Hernando PACE Center for Girls, is past Chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership Economic Development Practitioners Committee, a graduate of Leadership Hernando, and serves on several other community committees.  


Throughout her career, Ms. Pianta has worked for AT&T, Intermedia Communications and WorldCom in business-to-business sales, marketing and consulting.  A New Jersey native, Ms. Pianta moved to Florida in 1989.  She is married with four children and one granddaughter. 

Tammy Heon brings more than 20 years’ experience to her role in marketing Hernando County as a tourism destination. Born and raised in New England, Tammy is thrilled to have relocated with her husband, Richard, to the land of sunshine and mermaids.


Tammy’s tourism background includes serving as the Front Desk Manager for the Dockside Inn and Guest Quarters, four years with Newmarket International, a leading supplier of hotel and catering sales yield software and seven delightful years as the Director of Marketing and PR for the Ogunquit Playhouse, America’s Foremost Summer Theater. Collectively, these experiences provide a broad range of knowledge for tourism marketing and have enabled her to make a significant impact in Hernando County’s tourism marketing efforts, including a rebranding to Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee, expansion of the department and convincing the BOCC to expand the TDT to 5%.


She has served on the Maine Arts Council, as the Chair of Board of Directors for Destinations Florida, on the Industry Liaison Council for St. Leo University’s School of International Hospitality and is a graduate of Leadership Hernando.

Tammy Heon

Manager, Tourism Development
John Athanason

John Athanason

Multimedia Communication Specialist

John joined the Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitor’s Bureau in January 2021. His responsibilities include promoting and marketing all things tourism on Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee. 


John, a native of Ocala, Florida, has worked in the Florida tourism industry since 1991. Prior to joining the team, John spent the past 19 years as the PR/Marketing Manager at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. John’s leadership and creativity turned a fledgling and historic roadside attraction back to world-wide prominence and viability and was part of the team that turned the famed attraction into a Florida State Park.


John graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, with an emphasis in Commercial Tourism.  He enjoys volunteering in the community and spending time with his wife and animals.

Shannon is a Florida native who graduated from Saint Leo University with a degree in International Hospitality and Tourism. Shannon joined the Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitor Bureau in 2015 and has since enjoyed providing visitors and residents with information on the area, upcoming events, and all the hidden gems on Florida’s Adventure Coast! Currently she oversees the social media content for the Visitors Bureau, as well as helping guests in the Brooksville Welcome Center.


Shannon enjoys hiking, kayaking, drawing, and spending time with her friends and family.

Shannon Werner

Shannon Craig

Multimedia Communication Specialist
Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Administrative Assistant

Michelle Rose is the administrative assistant for the staff of Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau and provides support for the Tourist Development Council. She is the foundational and flexible glue that keeps the organization running smoothly. If she is not working behind the scenes, she can be found greeting visitors in the Welcome Center, at a special event, or enjoying one of the many adventures in the destination. Prior to stepping up to her current role, she was the Visitors Center Assistant, welcoming travelers and providing detailed information on Florida’s Adventure Coast.


Together with her multi-generational family, Michelle enjoys living, working, and playing on Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville – Weeki Wachee.

Tourist Development Council (TDC)

The TDC is an advisory board to the manager and staff of Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau. The council is comprised of three members representing bed tax collectors, three members of tourism related businesses and two elected officials. Members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. TDC Meetings are held bi-monthly, on the fourth Thursday of the month at 3 PM. The meetings are typically held at the Brooksville Welcome Center, located at 205 E. Ft. Dade Avenue in Brooksville.

TDC Special Funding Grants

Throughout the year, the TDC offers local, special event funding grants for local businesses and partners. Click the application button below to begin the process.

Tourist Development Tax Reports




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