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Richmond Hill CVB hopes for success in 2010

Despite the downturn in the economy, the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau seems to be stronger than ever. The group has a few new faces, a new home office at the City Center, a director with some experience under her belt and is utilizing some unique marketing tools to promote the city.

"I definitely see some positive things happening with the CVB," Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said. "The new board is made up of a diverse group with a lot of knowledge. I look for only good things from these ladies and gentlemen."

The Richmond Hill City Council approved the 2010 Board of Directors last month. This includes new CVB Chairman Brandy Trout, who is also the sales and marketing director at Station Xchange,

"This is the most professional CVB board we have ever had," CVB Executive Director Chris Sheppard said. "Last year was a rebuilding year, and this year we’re going full throttle into marketing Richmond Hill."

Trout became a board member last year and said she is honored to take the role of chairman.

"I’ve watched an evolution process with the CVB over the past couple of years," Trout said. "It’s been a rocky road, but everything has come together now. It’s truly an exciting time for the CVB."

In 2008, the CVB lost its director and chairman. 2008 also saw the partnership between the CVB and the Richmond Hill Historical Society dissolve. This left the CVB with no hierarchy and no home base, since they were set up inside the Historical Society Museum on Hwy. 144. The chairman spot has been a revolving door.

Problems seem to compound when the state decided to audit the CVB for the years 2007 and 2008. City and state officials have chalked this up to lack of controls and disorganization for this period.

But that was then and this is now.

-Read more in the Bryan County News.

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