Starting Tuesday the Knoxville
Tourism and Sports Corporation (KTSC) has a new name, an official
leader, and in a few weeks you'll start seeing a new look. Its
board made several moves at a meeting Tuesday morning to re-organize
and re-brand the organization after months of controversy.
in February, it forced founder and former President Gloria Ray out of
the organization's top spot. A 10News Investigation uncovered legal
issues with Ray's employment contract and questions about its expenses.
Ray maintains she did nothing wrong.
KTSC is coming off of one
of the biggest events its booked in Knoxville in recent years, the AYSO
National Soccer Tournament. Its using momentum from that to remain
focused on local tourism and re-gain public trust.
Thousands of youth soccer players, coaches and families spent last weekend in Knoxville. Each team from around the country had something to prove. That's something they share with KTSC, the group that brought them to East Tennessee.
"We're in it to win it," said KTSC Interim President Kim Bumpas.
philosophy is the guiding force for KTSC as it takes on its biggest
challenge in its decade of existence: staying intact.
KTSC's board voted unanimously Tuesday to continue an image change by changing its name.
"We'll be going out as the Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) doing business as 'Visit Knoxville," said Bumpas.
That's right, KTSC is now the Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Their current blue, green, and yellow logo will eventually be retired and replaced with the new "Visit Knoxville" brand.
"We have partnerships in place to facilitate that look," explained Bumpas. The CVB has joined forces with a local public relations agency to work on brand strategy. Bumpas said the public will see the CVB's new look in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, the CVB board also gave Bumpas something new, a new title. They
passed a motion put forth by the Executive Committee to officially name
her president and eliminating the "interim" position she's held since
Ray's departure in February. Bumpas will get an 11-month contract with the new title. CVB
attorney Ward Phillips is now charged with drafting that document in
time for the full board to review it before their regular meeting in
August. The full board will discuss the contract then, and vote on it.
"It brings a certain validity to what I'm saying, " explained Bumpas.
The look of the CVB board is also changing. They
took recommendations from local government leaders to shrink from 24
down to 11. And, before Tuesday's meeting, Knoxville Mayor Madeline
Rogero appointed AC Entertainment front-man Ashley Capps and World's
Fair Park Holiday Inn General Manager Mitchell Holloway to fill two
vacant city spots on the board.
Board Chair Bo Connor said it is business as usual while the CVB waits until fall to learn about its financial future.
very disconcerting, obviously, it's tough to do that, you're not sure
what's going on from day to day or where you're gonna be, but I think
we've got a good plan in place," Connor said.
KTSC's long-time financial advisor and auditor Van Elkins is also gone. Connor said the decision to search for new people to fill those roles was mutual. Elkins worked closely with Ray over the years. He had come under scrutiny for both advising KTSC's finances and for performing its audits. Connor said it was time to get new people in those roles to provide for "checks and balances."
While the CVB's business practices are getting back to best practices, Bumpas said more change is on the way. The
CVB plans to start using a new formula to calculate their bookings that
is more up-to-date than what they have been using for the past several
years. In the past bookings figured in to Ray's employment bonuses.
"We'll also be
changing our structure internally so we're maximizing our results...it's
real easy to be excited about this process when you don't have anything
to tell or educate but the truth," said Bumpas.
results, Bumpas believes, will ensure the CVB's future and attract more
groups, such as the AYSO National Soccer Tournament, to Knoxville.
The board has put its president search on the back burner since Bumpas will continue in the role for the time being.
It also wants to find
out if the city and county decide to award new contracts to the
organization before moving forward on that. Tuesday, county leaders told
us they are still drafting a joint RFP for the contracts and are coming
close to officially putting them up for bid.
CVB is guaranteed funding through October 31, 2012 after the local
governments granted them an extension while the RFP process takes place. Both
mayors did not want to have no organization working on tourism, which
is what would have happened had they let KTSC's contracts expire on
their original ending date of June 30, 2012.
said he will make sure Bumpas' new, 11-month contract, address what
will happen should the CVB not get awarded new city and county contracts
this fall and their funding ends since Bumpas' contract would end after
the money runs out. Basically, there will be a safeguard
in Bumpas' contract to ensure she won't get paid with tax payer dollars
for time she doesn't end up working.
The board will re-visit a search for a new, long-term president, once it is determined the CVB will exist beyond October 31st
Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation full board has shaved the "interim" title from Kim Bumpas offering her the position of president for 11 months.
Bumpas was made interim president in February following the resignation of Gloria Ray following a controversy over KTSC spending and Ray's compensation.
The KTSC attorney told the executive committee, which met first, that making Bumpas president would be a smart move as the organization transitions.
The attorney then explained how the contract would work. The executive committee would be in charge of drafting it. It would offer her a term to get the organization through transition.
The full board then met to discuss and approve Bumpas' new contract. KTSC attorney Ward Phillips will draft Bumpas' new 11-month contract to be presented at August's meeting.
A name change was also on the agenda. The board revealed KTSC's new name as Knoxville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. It will be marketed and branded as "Visit Knoxville."
Both committees attended to other business.
The KTSC ended its relationship with auditor Van Elkins. He at one point audited the organization and reviewed bonus payouts for former president Gloria Ray. Board President Bo Connor talked said the dissolution was a mutual decision for best business practices. Connor praised the CPA for his service.
KTSC is opening RFP for a new auditor.
The board approves add Carmen Tegano to board as independent director. Replaces a term-limit director. Tegano works in UT Athletic Deptartment.
The board voted to fill Knoxville's vacant board spots with AC Entertainment President Ashley Capps and World's Fair Park Holiday Inn GM Mitchell Holloway. Both were backed by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.
Kim Bumpas approved a whistle blower policy that was drafted by Human Resource Director Paige Drennon. After the board has looked over it, the policy will go to employees for signatures.
When the executive board meeting ended, the regular board approved minutes from 12/13/11 and 3/227/12.
10News' Reporter Hillary Lake reported from both the executive and full board meetings Tuesday morning.