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Cannon E Mail

Cannon E Mail

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Published by John David Sumner
Phil Cannon's letter to chamber board members about the firing of CVB Director Lisa Riddle.
Phil Cannon's letter to chamber board members about the firing of CVB Director Lisa Riddle.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: John David Sumner on Sep 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/26/2011

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 10 years ago Bo Henry and I started discussing a street festival in downtown. Bo had just openedHarvest Moon and I had just purchased and started renovating my building Downtown.Soon thereafter Tommy Gregors and Thronateeska came into the picture. Just after the secondfestival Sara Underdown took over the CVB. Lisa Riddle took over as the CVB's ConventionServices Manager. Sara and Lisa came up with the idea of adding a bike race to the event. Lisawas hands on from the beginning with the bike race. Her husband is an outdoor enthusiast andcyclist and the biking community was behind them and the event 100%. This idea was a perfectfit for an addition to the Mardi Gras Street Festival. Soon thereafter Sara and Dr. Jose Tongolcame up with the idea of adding the Marathon. Lisa was involved from the beginning, handlingall of the logistics while Sara handled the politics inherent in adding such a major event. AfterSara retired, Lisa was promoted to the Director of the CVB in June 2008.Lisa Riddle knows absolutely every square inch of the bike race and marathon. From setting uproutes to getting the marathon approved as a Boston Qualifier. Lisa has been the energy anddrive behind these two events since they were only ideas at a conference table. Sara and Lisarecognized the street festival as an event that would give downtown a place in the future of Albany and Dougherty County. It fit perfectly with the CVBs directive, Putting Heads in Beds.Since then Lisa has done everything possible to coordinate this directive with not only the MardiGras Street Festival, an event that rivals with ASU Homecoming as the largest economic impactfor the county, but every other event that takes place in Dougherty County.Lisa, as head of the CVB, visits area hotels on a regular basis. She is active in actually going intothe hotels and visiting with managers. Managers report this to me regularly. I have never hadeven one business person tell me Catherine Glover has visited any local tourism business.The Chamber has made a huge mistake in firing Lisa. The stated reason for firing her wasbecause she discussed a salary issue with a co-worker. As I understand it, Lisa explained to anew Chamber employee HOW the salary of Catherine Glover is paid, not the amount.The true motivation is: the Chamber does not want the public to know HOW the salary of Mrs.Glover is paid. The Chamber had to manipulate the rules to pay Catherine Glover the salaryshe demanded as a condition to have her move to Albany Ga. This excessive salary demand wasnot within the Chamber's budget. The Chamber created a position to put Mrs. Glover in chargeof the CVB and split her salary between the Chamber and CVB. The public needs to know theportion of Mrs. Glovers salary that comes from the CVB is paid with public dollars. The CVB'sbudget is derived from the local Hotel/Motel tax. The Chamber does not want the public to knowthey manipulated the circumstances and used public tax payer dollars to pay the excessivedemand made by Mrs. Glover. The Chamber does not want the public to know for her first yearin Albany she did not attend CVB meetings or have anything to do with the CVB. During thefirst review of Mrs. Glover's job she was told to spend more time at the CVB. The Chamberused tax payers dollars to pay a salary of someone who did no work directly for the public.

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