| Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau
Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Fairfield Inn – Butler, 9 AM
Danielle Hixon, Hampton Inn
Kathy Allen, Armstrong Farms
Bob McCafferty, North Country Brewing Co.
Ed Wadding, Butler Arts Council
Todd Wehr, Bear Run Campground
Rodney Schaffer, Con Yeager Spice Company
Elizabeth Jacobs, Zelienople Historical Society
Scott Choura, Lake Arthur Golf Club
MJ McCurdy, Bottlebrush: A Gallery for the Arts
Jake Weiland, Moraine State Park
Justin Griffith, Regional Learning Alliance
Jack Cohen, BCTCB
Leigh Baxter, BCTCB
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM by Rodney Schaffer (chair).
Approval of Minutes:
Rodney asked if the board had received the February 20th, 2014 board minutes and if they had any questions. No questions. It was moved and seconded by Ed W. and MJ to accept the minutes. All in favor. The motion carried.
Paul Lueken, Treasurer – As Paul was out of town on business, Ed Tanski was asked to provide the Financial Report. Ed was the past treasurer for the bureau and a current member of the financial committee.
Ed said looking at the report, the monthly income line is up $9,000 for the year, which puts our year-to-date figures at a $40,000 increase.
Jack added that our Jeep accounts are deferred accounts, therefore the revenues and expenses are not applied until the end of our fiscal year.
Advertising is at its peak, so we will see that reflected in the expense report. This is the time of year where we see these expenses increase. The expenses are in line, with the exception of the office supplies. This is due to bookkeeping entering some categories incorrectly. Jack is aware of this and will have the accounts coded accordingly.
The report overall looks good, and our bottom line is where it needs to be.
Rodney asked if there were any additional questions. No additional questions. It was moved and seconded by Ed and Jake to file February’s financial report for audit. All in favor. The motion carried.
Rodney welcomed the visitors. No comments.
Ed Tanski, Buttercup Woodlands Campground
Paula Slomer, BCTCB
Amy Pack, BCTCB
Jared Stonesifer, Butler Eagle
Clayton Findon, Airquest Aviation
Staff Report: Jack Cohen
The Web Stats, PR Report and Sales Report were distributed. The advertising and publicity binders were passed around.
Jeep is doing well. Peoples has stepped up as a presenting sponsor.
Jack mentioned that directly following the board meeting, the board would meet for their annual strategic planning meeting. He hopes the board has bought with them ideas and vision for the coming 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Our OVG requests are coming in strong and we continue to have Minuteman Press assist with the mailings. This process is working well. Recently, we completed a 3,000+ OVG mailing to all of our previous Jeep Festival participants. This is in an effort to encourage the Jeepers to plan and book their accommodations early for our 2014 Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. Ed T. mentioned that he has already received reservations for this event, and they seem to be coming in faster this year. The OVG mailing may have prompted that.
Jack mentioned he is working with Brett Michaels and Brett’s agent as they plan to have a concert at the Big Butler Fairgrounds this year. Brett is a Butler County native and attended Butler High School.
Sales Update: Amy
Amy was excited to share that the bureau has some new events confirmed for this year and upcoming years. PSAC Baseball Championships April 29th – May 3rd, 2014; NCAA Division II Cross Country Atlantic Regional Championship, Nov 11-20, 2014; Atlantic Coast Baseball, May-September, 2014; all generating overnight stays in Butler County. Also, we have the Presidents Cups soccer tournament which will use fields from Slippery Rock to Cranberry. Amy continues to work with Tough Mudder in hopes to bring them to Butler County in 2015.
Her team is also working on some events with Cabot Guns and the International Skateboarding Association. Amy stated that Cvent has proven to be a good resource for events. Cvent is a lead generation program used to extend proposals and allow the bureau an opportunity to bid on events and conferences to bring new business to Butler County.
Marketing Update: Paula
Paula started by handing out the golf promotion for 2014. Our participating golf courses will hand out cards to their golfers. The idea is to visit each participating golf course to receive a stamp on the card. After the card is full, they return it to the bureau to be placed into a drawing. The prizes are:
GRAND PRIZE: A weekend getaway for four, including airfare, overnight stay and two rounds of golf in Orlando, Florida
2nd Place: 55" flat-screen TV
3rd Place: A Golden Ticket – good for a free round of golf for two people at ten courses
The sales team is in the process of visiting each participating golf course to hand out the cards, stamps and to let them know exactly how the promotion works.
The marketing team is still working on the county-wide initiative, and plan to roll out the campaign at the Toast to Tourism on May 8th.
Paula recently met with the sales rep for the state. She was shown the new PA guide. Butler County Tourism was represented in the guide and had several members mentioned. Paula added that Butler County Tourism has been noted by the state to have an excellent social media presence.
Jack attended the CDC Bankers Breakfast recently and it was apparent that all the bankers seemed to be talking about was the weather and golfing. Jack spoke too many of them asking if they have competed in a bank golfing challenge. Many had not, but were very interested. With this discovery, Jack has put together a Butler County Bankers Golf Challenge. This event will be held on June 27th at Lake Arthur Golf Club. Each bank will be asked for a registration fee. The winning team will have all proceeds donated to a Butler County charity of their choice. This would be great to have as an annual event, and an event that we can rotate throughout the county.
Jack also mentioned that in June we will have a travel writers’ tour from Canada. We expect 11 writers. Freedom Farms will be holding a Farm to Fork dinner. We hope the restaurant members will want to be included and attend. Patti Jo will be doing a press release and, along with the bureau, be showcasing Butler County.
The grant deadline was March 15th. The bureau received 37 grant applications. The grant committee will review all the applications. We will announce the awardees at our Toast to Tourism on May 8th.
MJ recently met with the shopping group. She had five or six attendees, and some corresponded by email. One request that came from her group was for the bureau to reconsider having the shopping group brochure brought back. This is an item that the group feels strongly about. She also talked about how her group is looking at the possibility of participating in Butler County History Day. They are looking at ways that while visitors are attending this event they can also be shopping and visiting their facilities. They also plan to have a Mother’s Day promotion with gift baskets. They would like this to be a seasonal promotion.
Bob plans to meet with his restaurant group in the next two months. He’s tried focus groups before, but it has been difficult due to time restraints for his industry.
Kathy has been meeting with the different businesses and associations in Saxonburg and is working on a new group called Discover Saxonburg. They are hoping to bring awareness to the Saxonburg community and bring in new business. They are working on events and activities for the coming year.
Ed W. has been working with the arts group as they will be attending and participating in the entertainment piece of the Toast to Tourism event. They are currently working with Sara from the bureau to finalize this.
Danielle is working on having her hotel group meet in April
Jake represents the great outdoors and wanted to congratulate the bureau on the marketing efforts for the Regatta. He said everything is going extremely well with organizing this event. April 12th is the Glacier Ridge Ultra Marathon Race. So far there are 14 states represented. This is their 5th year.
Ed T. - Recently Jack asked Ed and his wife, along with some other members to attend a dinner to represent the bureau. At this event, he had an opportunity to speak to the governor’s wife for about 15 minutes and ended up having a really good tourism conversation. She was fully aware of our project with the Kaufman House in Zelienople and other projects going on in our county. She added that quite frequently when the state is looking at tourism agencies, Butler County is often in the mix, as we are noted to be one of the best at what we do.
Rodney started by stating all board members received a copy of the following resolution for review prior to today’s board meeting. Rodney asked the board to entertain the resolution for a motion:
A RESOLUTION OF THE BUTLER COUNTY
TOURISM & CONVENTION BUREAU
A RESOLUTION TO BOTH CONFIRM AND ADOPT THE BUREAU’S REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN MEETINGS.
WHEREAS, the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau (hereinafter referred to as “Bureau”) is an IRS designated 501(c)(6) Pennsylvania Not-for-Profit Corporation whose mission is “to create and manage effective tourism and convention promotion and development initiatives in cooperation with and in service to private and public tourism venues for the purpose of increasing the economic and the quality-of-life impact of tourism in Butler County”; and
WHEREAS, the Members of the Bureau represent a diverse range of interests of “both organizations and individuals who benefit either directly or indirectly from and who are motivated to support tourism and/or convention business”; and
WHEREAS, the diversity of the Bureau necessitates that the Bureau must strive at all times to be open, accessible, and transparent for the benefit of its Members and the residents of and visitors to Butler County; and
WHEREAS, the Bureau is not an “agency” subject to the Pennsylvania Sunshine Acti; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding, the Bureau has a solid and proud history of being open, accessible, and transparent; and
WHEREAS, the Bureau has in the past and will in the future voluntarily and responsibly hold open meetings.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as follows:
1. The recitals set forth above are incorporated herein as an integral part hereof.
2. The Bureau does hereby confirm and shall continue to conduct its meetings in an open, accessible, and transparent forum including, without limitation:
(a) providing for public notice.
(b) providing for reasonable public comment.
(c) keeping written minutes, including date, time and place of meeting, the names of members present, the substance of all official actions, a record of votes taken, and the names of all citizens who appeared officially and the subject of their testimony.
(d) limiting executive sessions to topics involving employment and job related matters, the negotiation of the purchase or lease of real property, consulting with its attorney in connection with litigation, and reviewing agency business which if held in public would violate a lawful privilege or lead to the disclosure of information or confidentiality protected by law.
(e) providing for rules and regulations for the conduct of meetings and the maintenance of order.
SO RESOLVED, this ________ day of _____________________, 2014, pursuant to Article IV, Sections 3 and 5 of the By-Laws of the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau.
_____________________________ By: __________________________________
Secretary Chairman, pursuant to affirmative vote of the Board of Directors at a meeting held the ____ day of _______________, 2014
Rodney asked if the board was to open a motion. A motion opened by Ed W. and Kathy.
Rodney asked the board had any questions. Ed W. asked if this document had been reviewed by our attorney. Jack stated that the resolution came directly from our attorney. Kathy asked if other bureaus have similar resolutions that they follow. Jack responded, yes some do.
Rodney asked if there we any other questions. He asked if all were in favor of the motion. All said “I.” He asked if any board members opposed. None apposed. The motion carried.
Rodney asked for motion for the check limit writing amount. Motion opened by Kathy and Todd.
Rodney stated the $500 check limit requiring two signatures was removed by the recent bylaw revisions, due to the fact that the board felt it should be revisited on a regular basis as business is conducted.
As many of the checks that the bureau writes exceed $500, he is proposing that a $1,000 limit should be required. The board agreed with the $1,000 limit.
Rodney asked if there we any other questions. He asked if all were in favor of the motion. All said “I.” He asked if any board members opposed. None opposed. The motion carried.
Rodney explained to the board that we have outgrown our CPA. Rodney requested a motion to discuss hiring a new firm to conduct the bureau’s annual audit. Motion was opened by Danielle and MJ.
Jack has reached out to several CPAs to look for a new auditor. After reviewing several proposals, he found JP Myers & Associates to be adequate. Their pricing was $3,000 lower than others that were reviewed. They are a Butler County business and have all the GAP standards that we require. Rodney requested a motion to move forward with JP Myers & Associates.
Rodney asked if there we any other questions. He asked if all were in favor of the motion. All said “I.” He asked if any board members opposed. None opposed. The motion carried to hire JP Myers & Associates to conduct the bureau’s annual audits.
Kathy asked if the board would consider allowing Discover Saxonburg to host the Toast to Tourism in 2015. With all of the new developments to Main Street, it would give the community a great opportunity to showcase the area. Rodney asked for a motion to permit this request. It was opened and seconded by Ed W. and MJ. Rodney asked if all were in favor of the motion. All said “I.” He asked if any board members opposed. None opposed. The motion carried.
Board Meeting Adjournment:
It was moved and seconded by Bob and Danielle to adjourn the board meeting at 9:45 AM. The motion carried.
Next Board Meeting
Thursday, April 17th, 9-10 AM