Moving ahead: Visitors bureau names new head
Jeremy Miner to lead VCVB in the group’s fresh start
Valdez man Jeremy Miner has been named as the new head of the Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB.)
For the last two years, the organization has been run with a skeleton crew at the direction of its volunteer board.
The VCBC board chose Miner, who is also a board member, last week. Miner, the current general manager of Mountain Sky Hotel, said he hopes his experience in the hospitality industry will help Valdez grow into a tourism destination.
“It’s an honor to be given this opportunity,” he said. “My initial intention was to hit the ground running. I’ve been involved with that organization for the last two years as a board member, seeing the struggles in the areas that need attention.”
The organization not only runs the town’s visitor center, which acts as a point of contact with business visitors and tourists, but also works year round to support tourism and promotes Valdez as a convention destination.
The VCVB has come a long way in the last two years. The organization got in hot water with the City of Valdez in 2010 after failing for five years to produce an audit. As part of a city statute, entities that receive city funding must produce an annual audit. The VCVB receives the bulk of its yearly funding through the city’s bed tax. John Hozey, city manager, was forced to cut off funding to the organization until it produced a clean audit.
As a result, the VCVB let go of its previous executive director, Dave Peterson, in October 2011, when it became abundantly clear the organization’s books were in disarray and in no condition to produce an audit. Other layoffs followed because the organization needed funding to pay its overdue debts, fines and other expenses. In December 2011, the City Council forward funded $153,000 from the VCVB’s 2012 budget to cover those costs through the end of the year.
Cash-strapped for 2012, the VCVB Board and volunteers worked to fill the void of executive director. Miner said the audits are no longer an issue thanks to work of the board and he credits the other members’ hard work with getting the organization back on track.
“We ran things very successfully as a board last year,” Miner said. “I want to make sure we continue our mission - be very mission driven in marketing Valdez as a four-season destination. So really, just getting into the nitty-gritty and making sure we get the operations standpoint down first and then really starting to developing some of my ideas which will help tourists when they get to town, what to do, in addition to attract more tourist to Valdez.”
Miner, who also serves on the Valdez City Council, plans to transition from his position at Mountain Sky into his new job within the next month.