Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tourism Council Conference Room
175 Main Street
1. Roll Call
Dave Balfour, Chair
Sue Tessier Mackenzie, Secretary
Najwa Murphy, Member
Moe Rondeau, Member
Dave Richards, Member
Judy Fischbach, Member
John LeFrancois, Member
Rich Murphy, Member
Jackie Boudreau, Treasurer
Helen Moroney, Member
Louis Yip, Member
Ted Garille, Member
Robert Conway, Member
Anthony Capuano, Member
Mark Brodeur, Member
Robert Billington, President
Natalie Carter, Director of Operations
2. The meeting was called to order at 12:05
pm with a quorum present.
On a MOTION by Mr. Rondeau and seconded by
Mr. Richards, the Minutes of the February 19, 2010 meeting were
approved as presented.
4. Treasurerís Report
Mr. Billington and Ms. Carter presented the
details of the budget. They noted significant changes and a
reduction in size from last yearís budget by approximately
$50,000. Billington explained that the Councilís long-term debt
was being paid through revenue over expenses beyond the budget
being approved today.
Mr. Murphy spoke in favor of somehow lowering bank fees and
ticket selling costs by possibly using staff to sell tickets
direct to customers. He noted that since our customers are
known, this could be a more profitable way in the future. This
effort could be customer- incentive to save the Council and the
customer money and thereby lowering BVTC fees. He suggested
other companies be considered for the ticketing services.
Mr. Richards suggested that, to save money,
the Council should research a way to own its system for ticket
selling versus purchasing the service. Mr. Billington will to
research methods to cut costs in this area. Currently, these
costs are approximately $11,000 annually.
Prior to the vote and under Discussion, Mr.
Richards noted that he felt the budget was ďoverly optimisticĒ
for these times. Ms. Fischbach noted that the reduction in the
size of the budget from last year was a good thing to meet these
On a MOTION by Mr. Richards and seconded by
Ms. Tessier-McKenzie, the BVTC 2010/2011 Budget was approved
5. Presidentís Report
Mr. Billington updated the Board of
Directors on the following:
An Urgent VC partners proposal to write a
sustainable cities grant to USHUD, USEPA and USDOT. The partners
of Urgent VC have been working with the Council and attended
Sustainable Tourism Labs and felt that they wanted to work
closely with the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the work
we are doing in sustainable tourism and sustainable community
development. A proposal was designed and brought forward by the
Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and URGENT VC to the
Blackstone Valley Partnership, a group of organizations and
cities and towns representing the Heritage Corridor communities.
The Tourism Council felt that the BVP and the Blackstone Valley
National Heritage Corridor represented a larger group of
communities than the BVTC and might be interested in a working
together on a proposal to the federal government that would
provide up to $5,000,000 in funds to create a Valley-wide
sustainable communities effort. The Council then led a fund
raising effort that will provide $10,000 to hire Urgent VC to
write the grant application to the federal partners listed
above. The application is due in May.
The first annual Rhode Island Cherry Tree
The GoGo Cast videocast project in the Lincoln and Pawtucket
The Blackstone Culinaria Tour
The Lincoln Train Excursion to Woonsocket
The nomination of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council by
Ashoka Changemakers for a $5,000 award in their latest
The Roger Williams/William Blackstone road striping project from
the bottom of the Blackstone bikeway in Cumberland to the top of
the East Bay Bikeway in Providence. RI Housing will financially
support the installation of the stripe for this project.
The invitation of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council to
attend the World Travel and Tourism Summit in Beijing.
Billington noted that a local foundation is supporting his trip
to the World Tourism Summit and will be traveling there with
Board Member Louis Yip.
The Blackstone Valley Navigant Credit Union Heritage Golf
The Pawtucket Foundation Annual Awards Celebration honoring
Board Member Louis Yip.
Billington was asked to be an Expert Commentator for the
Revelation to Action Ashoka Changemakers contest.
The Councilís hosting of the Discover New England Tourism Summit
and International Marketplace in Newport.
The upcoming Annual Dinner. John Chan is working to bring
Cumberlandís Farrelly Brothers to the meeting to be recognized
for their artistic contributions to Rhode Island.
The speaking engagement at the Marion County Indiana Tourism
Conference that was cancelled due to the flooding here in
6. New Business
Mr. Rondeau noted that the Council should
work with the Cumberland Lincoln Boys Club on their Rubber Ducky
race in 2010.
There being no further business before the
Board of Directors, the Board adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
Robert D. Billington