Visitors bureau begins new search for director

The new CVB director will be a county employee.
YOUNGSTOWN -- After an unsuccessful search, the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board will advertise anew for an executive director, with the salary to be in the $40,000-to-$60,000-a-year range.
The bureau's board of directors voted Friday to advertise the job in a regional search, which will include central and northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Board members Grace Styer, Carol Potter and Andrew Hamady will coordinate the search. George McCloud, board president, said he hopes a director can be at work by Dec. 1.
The director will be a county employee hired by the county commissioners, said George Tablack, county administrator.
Potter said the job will be advertised in print and online media, including trade journals and general-circulation daily newspapers and Web sites of state associations of CVBs. The listed qualifications will be a bachelor's degree and three to five years of marketing and public relations experience "with a good track record in financial management." Significant experience in "destination marketing" is preferred.
The board approved spending up to $10,000 to advertise the job, but McCloud said: "We have no expectation that it will actually cost that much."
Unsuccessful search
The county's new tourism promotion board, whose first meeting was June 1, conducted a search for a director this summer, during which it received about 30 applications, interviewed five candidates and recommended two of them to the county commissioners. McCloud declined to name the two finalists.
Tablack said the county commissioners were unsuccessful in negotiating terms of employment with either candidate. "We had some excellent candidates. Unfortunately, the county's wage scale is a little bit below what those candidates are willing to accept," he explained.
In the unsuccessful search, McCloud said the board didn't advertise a specific salary, but expected not to pay the director more than $50,000 a year. "We honestly attempted to act on behalf of the taxpayers, who provide the funding, and to stay within financial boundaries that seemed prudent, and we discovered that those boundaries were too limiting," McCloud explained.
This time, McCloud said the board and county commissioners have agreed that he and other CVB board members "will be more directly and immediately involved in concluding the hiring process."
The board's next meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 27 in the county commissioners' office.

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