- Associated Press - Friday, December 25, 2015

PROVIDENCE. R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island is tapping a former Massachusetts tourism chief to rebrand the nation’s smallest state into a more inviting destination for tourists and businesses.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced it has hired Betsy Wall for its newly created position of chief marketing officer.

Wall spent eight years running the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism during the administration of Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker replaced her earlier this year as he also sought to cut the tourism office’s budget.

Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor says the hiring is part of a push by Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, to create a positive statewide brand and lure new businesses.

Wall, who started her job this week, will be paid an annual salary of $135,000.

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