The August 2021 Board Meeting can be downloaded for viewing here:


Meeting Minutes

Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau

Board of Directors Meeting

August 23, 2021 – 2:00 p.m.



PRESENT: Chip Boyles, Elizabeth Cromwell, Chris Engel, Chris Eure, Heather Hill, George Hodson, Roger Johnson, Pam Higgins, Ann Mallek, Jennifer Mayo, Diantha McKeel, Jeff Richardson, Gary Sandling, Gabe Silver, Nikuyah Walker




ALSO ATTENDING: Anthony Bessette, Courtney Cacatian, James King



Chairman Roger Johnson called the meeting to order at 2:02 PM.

  1. Virtual Meeting Preamble and Roll Call: Chairman Roger Johnson invited Executive Director Courtney Cacatian to perform the roll call. Anthony Bessette confirmed that the Virtual Meeting Preamble language from previous meetings is still in use and applies to this Board meeting.
  2. Introduction of Pam Higgins: Roger invited Pam Higgins to introduce herself. Pam gave a brief introduction. She is filling the UVA representative role.
  3. Industry Presentation: Courtney Cacatian introduced James King and invited him to present. James presented about the wine industry in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area and the benefits the industry brings. James took questions afterwards and left his contact information for further questions.
  4. Consent Agenda: Roger asked for input on the consent agenda. A motion was made to approve the consent agenda, and the consent agenda was approved. Roger turned it over to Executive Director Courtney Cacatian for the Director’s Report.
  5. Director’s Report: Courtney presented the Director’s Report, which included a) Hotel Performance and ADARA data; b) Diversity Equity and Inclusion; c) Marketing Plan 2021-2022; d) Presentation of Historic Vines New Roots Marketing Campaign; e) Marketing and PR Update; f) Sales Update; g) Visitor and Community Relations Update.
  6. Hotel Performance and ADARA data: Courtney presented data on the current industry climate, a few charts indicating hotel performance, and the ADARA Site Impact data.
  7. Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Courtney gave an overview of the DEI work that Sophia Hyder Hock and Talia Salem have been contracted to do. They are currently working with Tempest to ensure that the information architecture on the website is inclusive and to identify gaps in content. They will also be working on a sustainability pledge workshop with business partners in the fall. 
  8. Marketing Plan 2021-2022: Courtney gave highlights of the Marketing Plan for 2021-2022. This included the foundations put in place and research that identified areas of opportunity for marketing, including the results of the DRIVE 2.0 workshop.
  9. Historic Vines New Roots Marketing Campaign: Courtney presented the Historic Vines New Roots marketing campaign on Matthew Chambers’ behalf as Matthew could not make it to the meeting. Matthew is helping with this campaign that focuses on wine to attract visitors to the Charlottesville/Albemarle destination.
  10. Marketing and PR Update: Courtney gave an update on marketing and PR efforts, which included going live with the wine marketing campaign in October, launching the digital wine passport, contracting a graphic designer and videographer, completing photoshoots, continuing to make progress with Discover Black Cville, and receiving $10,000 from VTC for a marketing leverage grant. Courtney also gave an overview of writers that have come to Charlottesville/Albemarle and publications that have written about the destination.
  11. Sales Update: Courtney gave an update on the steadily increasing sales efforts. Teresa has been meeting both virtual and in-person conferences and securing group bookings, including attraction and restaurant bookings. 
  12. Visitor and Community Relations Update: Courtney gave an update on the mobile visitor centers, which are now in its third month. Location adjustments are being made for safety and webinars are being hosted with focus on partnerships, transportation, and other topics of interest to tourism partners.
  13. Public Comment: Courtney invited attendees to use the chat function or email her to sign up to make public comment. Roger asked that this portion be moved to the end so attendees have a chance to sign up. When Roger returned to this portion, there were no sign ups.
  14. Matters of the Board: Heather Hill asked for an update from Jeff Richardson and Chip Boyles about Board development. Jeff Richardson spoke with the Board of Supervisors, who said they would be willing to move forward with the City of Charlottesville to look at the recommendations for modifying the existing Board. Chip Boyles also spoke to the City Council and they are likewise willing to consider a change with Albemarle County. Roger opened this up to the Board for discussion. Discussion revolved around how this change would be executed and its timeline. Heather Hill also brought up previous discussion on how the new industry seats should be prescriptive, so each sector is properly represented. Roger also brought up parity in terms of geography, which will have political and demographic impact on the Board make up. Roger will work with Chris Engel to create language to codify the ideas and bring it back to the Board for consideration.   
  15. Board Announcements: There were no Board announcements.


Chairman Roger Johnson adjourned the meeting at 3:30 PM.