Members of the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (OACVB) elected Ottawa County Visitors Bureau Director Larry Fletcher to serve as Vice President for 2014. OACVB is an organization representing more than 60 CVBs throughout the state with educational, networking, public relations, and legislative efforts.
At the meeting Mr. Fletcher had the chance to meet newly appointed TourismOhio Director Mary Cusick who was attending her first public event since being hired. Cusick is an Ohio native with extensive experience in marketing and branding. Her work experience includes positions at Bob Evans Farms and the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.
Also on the meeting agenda was honoring two legislators for their efforts to support tourism in Ohio. The 2013 “Susan L. Hamo Friend of the Industry Award” was presented to Representative Mike Dovilla, District 7-Berea and to Senator Randy Gardner, District 2- Bowling Green.
Representative Dovilla was the sponsor of tourism industry-driven legislation that provided a new formula for funding TourismOhio. In addition, he is the Chair of the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee that held a forum at Kalahari this fall that focused positive attention on the creation of the new TourismOhio Advisory Board.
Senator Gardner was the sponsor of an amendment in Ohio’s budget bill to make technical changes and bolster the already existing statutory language that ensures that lodging tax is used to promote local communities in Ohio. He is a constant voice for the economic development power of tourism in Ohio. He also is a strong advocate for a healthy Lake Erie as exemplified by the Ohio Senate’s recent approval of a Gardner sponsored amendment that strives to end open lake dumping of dredged materials in Lake Erie.
The Susan L. Hamo Friend of the Industry Award is given each year to honor public leaders for their understanding of the societal, cultural and economic impact that tourism has on the state of Ohio, as well as their contributions in helping the tourism industry prosper.
Further information about the Visitors Bureau is available at www.shoresandislands.com. Information on OACVB is available at www.oacvb.org.