JOHNSTON COUNTY TOURISM AUTHORITY
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
12 Noon, Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices
Present:M Boyette, Ernie Brame, K Brinson, S Henley, C McLamb, K Henthorn, B Dixon, J Godfrey, T Stewart
Absent: M Patel, P Boucher
Staff:D Bailey-Taylor, A Phillips
Guest: Ted Godwin
I.Call to Order – E Brame, Chairman
E Brame called the meeting to order at 12:15pm and stated that a quorum was present. Brame also welcomed past board member, Ted Godwin to the meeting. With no corrections, the agenda was adopted. Brame asked for a motion to accept the September minutes that were previously sent to the Board.
K Brinson motioned to accept the September minutes with the corrections being so noted.B Dixon seconded.Motion passed unanimously.
Month-to-Date Revenue for August was $82,388.12. Month-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $25,168.79. Month-to-Date Operations were $50,160.72. Net Income for the month was $7,058.61.Year-to-Date Revenues were $262,210.25. Year-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $75,506.34. Year-to-Date Operations were $117,779.72. Year-to-Date net income was $68,924.19. The August revenues were $59,512.61 Smithfield’s August Revenues were $17,673.64. Selma’s August Revenues were $8,104.21. Kenly’s August Revenues were $2,749.45.Benson’s August Revenues were $713.14.
IV. Special Projects Committee – T Stewart
T Stewart stated that the committee met and discussed the Capital Grant applications that were received. Applications were from the Town of Benson ($34,500), DSDC Historical Hastings House ($15,000) and Smithfield Recreation & Aquatics Center ($35,000). Each application was reviewed and discussed if the projects qualified for funding, the potential impact for tourism development and if the organizations had previously received funding. The Visitors Bureau has a total of $25,000 budgeted for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The committee made a recommendation to grant funding to each of the applicants.
J Godfrey made a motion to grant Smithfield Recreation & Aquatics Center $10,000; Town of Benson $10,000 and DSDC Historic Hastings House $5,000. B Dixon seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
E Brame mentioned a response letter from Johnston Community College asking that the bureau reconsider its current granting guidelines to allow the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium to apply for the Capital Grants Program. Brame asked that D Bailey-Taylor meet with non profits that are still illegible to apply for grants and report back to the board as to the possible needs in the near future.T Stewart also suggested that the committee look into opening up the grants to Public Art if they are generators of visits to the county.
V. Marketing Committee – D Bailey-Taylor
The bureau was working on a Meeting Planner Guide that will be ready for the December AENC Trade Show.Four Smithfield billboards have new vinyl installed.The town of Benson is still undecided about vinyl for the Benson billboard.S Hensley will be suggesting the change for the Clayton billboard, with graphics that were sent to E Dean today.
Bureau is working on new banners for the visitor kiosk and for most of the meeting a discussion was held on how the CityGro Visitor App would work. M Boyette asked if the program would be in place by Christmas, and D Bailey-Taylor answered that personal calls will have to be made to all the trial participates to sign them up and get their offers and she expected the program to be in place by December.The staff will have the capacity to design and place graphics in the program with a login.
The JoCo Proud Campaign is also something that will need personal calls to discuss with chamber directors and negotiate an agreement with the other five directors.D Bailey-Taylor indicated we have an issue on how our email newsletter can be forwarded with the chambers who use Constant Contact, but we will work it out. Work will begin on the new Visitors Guide this month.
VI. Sports Council Committee – J Godfrey
A Resolution of Support for Parks & Recreation Master Plan was presented. The board was asked to review the resolution. A brief discussion followed.
J Godfrey made a motion to accept the Parks & Recreation Master Plan Resolution of Support. B Dixon seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
C Pendergraph from the NCDOT District Engineers’ office attended the meeting and explained the procedure for submitting bike routes to the Pedestrian & Bicycle Division. Discussion was had about route improvement needs. J Godfrey stated the desire to tie the bike routes to the Mountain to the Sea Trail. Also stated was an at-large vacancy on the sports council due to J Lynch resignation.
VII. Staff Report – D Bailey-Taylor
D Bailey-Taylor stated that it had been a very busy month with staff attending several local festivals and events. The bureau had booths at the Clayton Harvest Festival, Mule Days, and the Logging Expo. As suggested in the marketing audit the staff is attending festivals to gauge the demographics of attendees.At the Ham & Yam Festival and Clayton Harvest there were approx. 150 cards gathered with 50% in-town attendance 45% within a 50 mile radius and only 2-3 out of state visitors. The location of the booth at Mule Days was in the Singing Grove and not a high traffic area, so only 34 cards collected with 50% attending from within 50 mile radius, 33% local and 5 out-of-state all from SC and VA. The bureau is also helping with the upcoming Ava Festival, social media, press releases, and blogs as well as several events for this weekend – Selma Railroad Days, Farm Fest and The Shindig. The bureau is working on issues with the D3000 upgrade and Everwondr calendar. D Bailey-Taylor reported the click through numbers on the new Everwondr calendar for a couple of larger events were: 178 for Squealin’ on the Square, 150 for Ava Gardner Festival, 262 for Farm Fest.E. Brame asked if these are good numbers, and for only being up and running for 30 days, D Bailey-Taylor thought they aren’t bad.Staff will have more data to compare after 12 months. The government shutdown may affect tourism throughout the country. The Department of Tourism for NC has released a campaign that will help visitors know what attractions are closed.D Bailey-Taylor indicated in North Carolina the mountains and the coast are most affected, however, events and meetings are also being cancelled and that will trickle down to hurt the everyone in our industry.
VIII. Old Business
J Godfrey stated that the board needed to address absences at regularly scheduled board meetings. A reminder was given that board members should not have more than three unexcused absences and during board orientation, this rule in JCTA By-Laws should be pointed out to new members.
IX. New Business
E Brame asked that the bureau renew their membership with the I-95 No Tolls at the $1,000 level. Brame stated that we may have won the battle but the war was not over.
K Brinson made a motion to renew the membership with the I-95 No Tolls at the $1,000 level. M Boyette seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm.
Mary Boyette, Secretary/Treasurer