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CVB starts year with new members, new plans

Posted: January 24, 2013 - 12:22pm  |  Updated: January 27, 2013 - 1:07am
Randy DuTeau, executive director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the organization is undergoing a "throrough reboot."  File photo by Jim Blaylock
File photo by Jim Blaylock
Randy DuTeau, executive director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the organization is undergoing a "throrough reboot."

The Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau started 2013 with a new director, new board members and a new plan.

Randy DuTeau, formerly with the Augusta Sports Council, stepped in as executive director in October.

“This organization is going through a complete and thorough reboot,” DuTeau said at the first CVB meeting of the year on Wednesday.

The board previously approved $6,200 for a consultant from the CSRA Regional Commission to develop a strategic plan for DuTeau and new CVB Assistant Director Shelly Blackburn. The last CVB strategic plan is several years old, Board Chairman Rick Crawford said.

“It’s a work program for the new executive director so he knows what to focus on and what his priorities are,” said Christian Lentz, Planning Director at the Regional Commission.

DuTeau has been busy in his short time at the CVB, with plans to redevelop the CVB Web site and edit a facilities guide to promote Columbia County as a destination for events.

“This is a great county and a great organization,” DuTeau said.

He’s looking forward to the Amateur Athletic Union Cross County National Championships coming to Blanchard Woods Park in December.

Duteau is meeting with officials about potential future events, including a national BMX race and growing the annual Benderdinker rowing, food and music festival. He’s fostering partnerships with several organizations, including Champions Made From Adversity, Wildwood Park and the Family Y.

The meeting also included newly appointed board members Jon Hair and Matt Ivey.

Crawford said CVB officials did not find any unauthorized transactions when they recently examined financial records going back to April, when Laurie Vanover took over as secretary/treasurer. Vanover has been implicated in the theft of nearly $200,000 from the Stratford Homeowners Association, for which she also was treasurer. That investigation continues, and no one has yet been charged.

The CVB meets at 4 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday at the CVB office at 1000 Business Blvd. in Evans.

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