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July 21, 2021
11:30 a.m.
MINUTES OF MEETING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
THE WOODLANDS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

 
The Board of Directors for The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau (TWCVB) of Montgomery County, Texas held their Board Meeting on July 21, 2021 at The Woodlands Township located at 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard, The Woodlands, Montgomery County, Texas, 77381 at 11:30 a.m. The roll was called and those in attendance were:


 
Present: Bruce Rieser, Chairman  
  Fred Domenick, Secretary/Treasurer  
  Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Director  
  J.J. Hollie, Director  
  Jeff Jones, Director  
  Ted Harris, Director  
  Jenny Taylor, Director  
  Cameron Klepac, Director  
Absent: John Anthony Brown, Vice Chairman
Staff Present: Nick Wolda, TWCVB President; Bret Strong, TWCVB Legal Counsel; Elizabeth Eddins, TWCVB Executive Director; Ashley White, TWCVB Marketing Director; Josie Lewis, TWCVB Director of Sales; Sonia Guerrero, TWCVB Administrative Analyst; Laura Haces, TWCVB Tourism Specialist; Amber George, TWCVB Marketing Specialist; Ashley Fenner, TWCVB Sales & Servicing Specialist; Monique Sharp, The Woodlands Township Assistant General Manager Finance & Administration; Tuan Nguyen, The Woodlands Township Help Desk Analyst
Attendees: Matthew Brink, GM at Hyatt Centric; Ana Cosio, Resident
             
1. Pledge of Allegiance;
  Bruce Rieser, Chairman, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Pledge to the Texas flag.
             
2. Call to order and adoption of Agenda;
  Motion by Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, seconded by Secretary/Treasurer Fred Domenick to approve the agenda. Motion carried by unanimous vote. Agenda adopted.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
  Bruce Rieser, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 11:33 a.m. and called for the Adoption of the Agenda for this meeting that was developed and duly posted as required by law.
             
3. Public Comment;
  Matthew Brink, General Manager for Hyatt Centric The Woodlands, introduced himself to the Board and invited everyone to visit the renovated property.
             
4. Receive, consider and approve Minutes from May 19, 2021 Special Board Meeting;
  Motion by Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, seconded by Director Jenny Taylor to approve the Minutes from May 19, 2021 Special Board Meeting. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
  Bruce Rieser, Chairman, explained that the Minutes from the May 19, 2021 Special Board Meeting are in the Board packet for all to evaluate.
             
5. Receive, consider and act upon the Financial Report through May 2021;
  Motion by Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, seconded by Director Jenny Taylor to accept the CVB Financial Report through May 2021. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
  Bruce Rieser, Chairman, called on The Woodlands Township Assistant General Manager Finance Administration, Monique Sharp. In terms of revenue, the total year to date budget for May was $1,006,465 comparing to the actual revenue of $454,294, resulting in an unfavorable variance of $552,171 coming from the Supplemental Hotel Occupancy Tax of $339,020 and the operating transfers’ $213,909 unfavorable variance. The organization is running a favorable variance in expenditures so there has been no need to transfer funds from the Township. In terms of expenditures, the year to date budget was $1,030,561 with an actual of $473,494 resulting in a favorable expenditure variance of $557,067, due to timing differences. The end fund balance for May 2021 is $1,405,194. The Hotel Occupancy Tax collections year to date total through June 2021 was at $2.4 million, showing a 19% below what it was budgeted. This was expected as hotels recover from the previous year. Discussion followed. Secretary/Treasurer Fred Domenick mentioned that hotel booking business is looking up for the upcoming year. Chairman Rieser commented that air travel is on the rise and projections show an increase in business in 2022 and 2023, currently private aviation is up higher than pre pandemic levels.
             
6. Receive, consider and act upon the 2022 Budget; 
  Motion by Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, seconded by Director Jenny Taylor to approve the 2022 budget at $2.5 million for Visit The Woodlands. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
  Elizabeth Eddins, Executive Director, provided a presentation that included a breakdown of initiatives per department, pre and post pandemic, for a total proposed 2022 budget of $2,245,299. Nick Wolda, President, mentioned that during the May 19, 2021 Board meeting there had been discussion about raising the 2022 budget to anticipate future business. Since that meeting, staff had discussion with Finance Department about raising the budget to $2.5 million. Bruce Rieser, Chairman, added that approving this extra money request could be beneficial for the organization as business continues to look upward. He requested for the proposed sales position to be included in the budget. Fred Domenick, Secretary/Treasurer, concurs with the additional staffing for the Sales Department and projects that revenue will continue to improve for next year. Discussion followed.
             
7. Receive, consider and act upon Cvent Supplier Partnership renewal to include two-year agreement;
  Motion by Secretary/Treasurer Fred Domenick, seconded by Director Jenny Taylor to approve a two-year partnership with Cvent for 2022 and 2023, and authorize the Chairman of the Board and President to sign the agreement as presented in the Board Packet. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
  Josie Lewis, Sales Director, explained that Cvent is the main supplier of industry leads and one of the main providers of much-anticipated business to The Woodlands. Staff recommends extending the partnership with the Cvent database for two more years at the Diamond Plus Package level at a cost of $31,178.77 in 2022, and $32,737.07 in 2023. The agreement can be found in the Agenda packet.
             
8. Staff Initiative Reports;
  Motion by Director Jenny Taylor, seconded by Director Ted Harris to approve the Staff Initiative Reports. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
  Josie Lewis, Director of Sales, updated the Board on current and future initiatives. The Sales Department is currently working on 25 leads and 46 Cvent leads, the in-person Sales Advisory Committee meeting, an MPI Houston Area events and a TAC bid presentation. The department continues preparations for a HelmsBriscoe FAM event, a hospitality hotel program, the incentive fund process and the annual All Hotel Partner meeting. Upcoming tradeshows include “Connect Marketplace,” TSAE “Sales Blitz,” TACVB “Sales Blitz,” “Connect Texas,” “IMEX America” and “Destination Texas.” Ashley White, Marketing Director, explained that the Marketing Department continues to push digital placements from April 2021 and noted that these digital placements have produced good results. Website updates continue in meetings and leisure, resulting in higher website conversions. Kudos to Amber George, Marketing Specialist, for achieving the 10K mark for the Visit The Woodlands Instagram account. This achievement will provide more features and will continue to position Visit The Woodlands as the marketing organization for The Woodlands. The department collaborated with The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, The Westin and The Woodlands Resort for various photoshoots to promote each property on the leisure markets. Lastly, the Marketing Department updated the Visitors Guide and the Meeting Planner Guide. Elizabeth Eddins, Executive Director, offered an overview of Q2 in the Tourism Department. The department hosted international travel writer “Viajero Peligro,” as he toured the state of Texas. The department continues to strengthen partnership relations with Travel Texas and Visit Houston. Laura Haces, Tourism Specialist, conducted a presentation to travel agents from Argentina and provided an update on the international tourism mission in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This international tourism mission was a multi-level strategic visit that started with intensive planning, followed with an online video preview meeting with several Mexican representatives, and ended with a one-on-one meeting and presentation with over 20 planners, journalists and influencers from San Miguel de Allende and its surrounding areas. Jenny Taylor, Director, and Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Director, complimented staff for the phenomenal job after the difficulties of the pandemic and for the current efforts to bring business to The Woodlands.
             
9. Recess to Executive Session to discuss matters relating to real property pursuant to §551.072, Texas Government Code; deliberation of economic development negotiations pursuant to §551.087, Texas Government Code; discuss personnel matters pursuant to §551.074, Texas Government Code; and to consult with the Corporation's attorney pursuant to §551.071, Texas Government Code;
  Bruce Rieser, Chairman, shared that it would not be necessary to recess to Executive Session.
             
10. Reconvene in Public Session;
  It was not necessary to reconvene in Public Session.
             
11. President's Report;
  Nick Wolda, President, complimented staff for the outstanding job during these challenging times.
             
12. Board Announcements;
  Several Directors provided specific details on each of their managed properties.
             
13. Agenda items for next meeting;
  None.
             
14. Adjournment.
  Motion by Director Jenny Taylor, seconded by Director Ted Harris to adjourn. Motion carried by unanimous vote. Adjourned at 12:49 p.m.
  Vote: 8 - 0 Passed
 
Other: Vice Chairman John Anthony Brown (ABSENT)
___________________________________________                                                     
Fred Domenick, Secretary/Treasurer
The Woodlands CVB Board of Directors
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Date

 

    

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