Columbia County has a new cheerleader.
Randy DuTeau is the new executive director of the county Convention and Visitors Bureau, CVB Board Chairman Rick Crawford announced Monday.
“It was just a good opportunity,” Crawford said. “We just seemed to have the same goals and ideals..”
DuTeau, currently the events and sports development manager for the Augusta Sports Council, replaces Beda Johnson, who resigned in October.
“I knew the opportunity existed and I wanted to jump on it,” DuTeau said.
DuTeau has been in the area for about seven years, He moved to Columbia County about four years ago and is acquainted with the facilities and amenities the county has to offer.
“Evans Towne Center Park, it’s the greatest place on the planet,” DuTeau said.
DuTeau just finished organizing the fourth annual ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta triathlon and will see it through the Georgia-lina Bike Summit on Oct. 19-21. He’s ready to jump into his new position the week of Oct. 22.
He’s excited about Clarks Hill and J. Strom Thurmond Dam, the county’s extensive mountain bike trails and the exhibition hall under construction at the Gateway.
DuTeau said leaving the sports council will be sad because the job was really gratifying, but he’s looking forward to broadening his scope beyond sports.
“Doing something where you’re strictly there to enhance and make the community better, I’m really blessed to be able to do that,” DuTeau said. “To have the opportunity to do that directly in my home, the county where I live, I think it’s such an awesome opportunity.”
Crawford said DuTeau’s experience with events, knowledge of the county and his contacts made him a natural choice for the job.
“I’m not a job changer,” DuTeau said. “I want to get into a spot where I can set up camp, if you will, and really just want to get into a place where I can feel at home, buy into the mission and do everything in my power to make it happen.”
He hopes that promoting the county and bringing events here will establish Columbia County’s solid tourism reputation. That, DuTeau thinks, will bring more economic development by enticing businesses to locate here.
“The relationship has to be symbiotic,” DuTeau said of working with the county’s other tourism and economic development entities. “Once we all get in sync, we’ll only be limited by our imaginations.”