Meeting Minutes

Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau

Board of Directors Meeting

June 18, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. @

The Quirk Charlottesville and Zoom

499 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902


PRESENT: Courtney Cacatian, Elizabeth Cromwell, Chris Engel, Chris Eure, George Hodson, Roger Johnson, Pace Lochte, Ann Mallek, Diantha McKeel, Jeff Richardson, Letitia Shelton, Gabe Silver, Mary Blair Zakaib

ABSENT:  Heather Hill, Jennifer Mayo, Nikuyah Walker

ALSO ATTENDING: Richard DeLoria, Jodi Gist, Amanda Vierrether


Chairman Roger Johnson called the meeting to order at 1:03 PM.

  1. Virtual Meeting Preamble and Roll Call: Chairman Roger Johnson invited Richie DeLoria to read the Virtual Meeting Preamble and perform the roll call.
  2. Adoption of Virtual Meeting Resolution: Richie explained the resolution and Roger asked for a motion to be made. The motion was approved.
  3. Consent Agenda: Roger pulled the FY2021 meeting schedule to be discussed at the end of the meeting. Roger asked about a marketing line item in the Q4 Financial Statement and Courtney explained that the line item contains salary savings added in and encompasses the Clean contract. After answering the Board’s questions, Roger asked for a motion to be made to approve the consent agenda and the motion was approved.
  4. Director’s Report: Executive Director Courtney Cacatian presented the Director’s Report, which included a) Highlights; b) Project Rebound; b) Hotel Performance; c) Marketing Update; d) PR Update; e) Visitor Services Update.
  5. Highlights: Courtney presented on the events that transpired since the last Board meeting in February which included receiving the VTC grant, pre-COVID meetings, ceasing paid advertising and closing the visitor centers, launching a weekly industry email update, participating in the weekly VTC CEO call, and speaking opportunities.
  6. Project Rebound: Courtney gave an overview on Project Rebound and her involvement in it. Elizabeth Cromwell elaborated on the Project and next steps it generated. Elizabeth explained the desire for a shared protocol for best practices and that tool kits to help facilitate this goal will go out our local businesses. Courtney added that the CACVB will list businesses on the website that are following this protocol and will record the experience of entering businesses for social media so visitors know what to expect. 
  7. Hotel Performance: Courtney presented a few charts indicating hotel performance and explained the impact on the CACVB’s budget.
  8. Marketing Update: Courtney reported on the several COVID pages that were created during the last few months and their stats. Courtney explained that the website cost was not offset for April and May because DTN did not bill for those months. Paid advertising is anticipated to start next week, targeting North Carolina, Hampton Roads area, and Williamsburg and Courtney presented the new creatives.
  9. PR Update: Courtney reported that she and Brantley have been doing a lot of local media coverage and proactively pursuing the international market.
  10. Visitor Services Update: Courtney gave an update on the visitor services team and the work they have been doing, which included making calls to local businesses in the County and the City about COVID best practices, cleaning up the visitor centers, and professional development.
  11. Proposed Visitor Center Reopening Plan: Courtney presented the proposed reopening plan, which entails two travel specialists Thursday-Saturday. One travel specialist will be downtown Thursday-Saturday and one will be in Crozet on Saturdays and Sundays. The proposed plan included a location change (inside and outside Old Metropolitan Hall) because the transit station will only be open Tuesdays and Thursdays for the foreseeable future.
  • Strategic Plan Timeline: Courtney revisited the strategic plan timeline and explained that she wrote a functional strategic plan to use internally for the time being. This includes community engagement from the SWOT analysis in December 2019 and from the SIR research presented in February 2020. Courtney proposed that instead of doing a strategic planning exercise at the Board retreat in August, the Board revisit their mission, address concerns, and success metrics. Courtney will be sending these questions in advance and addressed when and where the Board retreat may take place.
  1. Special Projects: Courtney addressed questions regarding event sponsorships, which included the need for the Board to revisit how they are done. Courtney will send context for the event sponsorship discussion before the Board retreat.
  • August Retreat: Roger opened a discussion for alternate dates for the Board retreat. Chris Engel proposed the Board coordinate with a doodle poll. Courtney will send out a poll for August and the date and time that is selected will be applied to all remaining Board meetings for the year.
  • Announcements:  Gabe Silver brought a discussion to the Board about taking a position on expanding park services to help with tourism. During the discussion, the Board also addressed what landmarks or attractions that are outside of the city and the county should be included in marketing. Roger expressed concern that without a clear definition, this could be a slippery slope. Courtney will bring a proposal to the Board. Roger returned to Gabe’s original proposal and said that he did not believe the timing was right to take a position.

Chairman Roger Johnson adjourned the meeting at 2:33 PM.