Columbia County's Convention and Visitors Bureau now has a chairman, but the new tourism agency is still seeking its first executive director.
On Wednesday morning, members of the board elected Wachovia loan officer Barry Davis as chairman. Davis is the Grovetown/Harlem representative on the board.
Joining Davis on the executive committee is vice chairwoman Alana Burke, the director of the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, who serves on the board as a representative of the Clarks Hill Lake Partnership. Tammy Stout, the executive director of the Greater Augusta Sports Council, was elected secretary/treasurer, but has declined.
Barry Smith, Columbia County's Community and Leisure Services director, received approval to begin regional advertising for the tourism agency board's executive director. Salary and benefits for the position, which is funded from Columbia County's hotel and motel tax, ranges from $61,425 to $68,640, plus a $5,000 annual automobile allowance and $480 cell-phone allowance, Smith said.
Interviews will likely be held later this month, with a new director in office by mid-February, Smith said.
The post will answer to the visitors bureau board, which has one unfilled slot reserved for a member of the Augusta CVB.
After splitting from that agency in 2005, Columbia County's bureau saved a seat for an Augusta representative - but so far has been rebuffed in getting it filled.
"It's a touchy subject," Smith said, adding that the issue could be reopened now that hotelier David Jones has been installed as the Augusta board's chairman.
"I'm sure that will be a topic that will surface," Jones said. "We basically have a whole new board, and I haven't even met all the members yet. So it would be hard for me to make a statement without having an opportunity to talk with them."
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