TDC Funding panelists will be selected Monday

When the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council meets tomorrow afternoon, members will decide whether to accept the seven applicants for the seven available seats on the controversial Category II Funding Panel; the committee that recommends who does and doesn’t get a piece of the bed tax pie, and how much.

Historic City News was informed that the meeting will convene on Monday, March 19, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. However, due to a scheduling conflict, participants will not meet in the County Auditorium. Instead, the public will follow signs posted in the lobby directing them to another meeting room. The meeting will not be televised.

TDC Chairman Todd Hickey will call the meeting to order, followed by the pledge of allegiance and roll call by staff member, Dena Masters. Once the agenda is approved, members of the public will be heard on matters not related to agenda items for up to three-minutes.

Kevin Venardos will make a scheduled presentation soliciting support for Venardos Circus. Ryan Murphy, manager of the St Augustine Amphitheatre, is also scheduled to make a growth and improvements presentation in support of the county’s cultural events department.

Tera Meeks will present for approval the Fiscal Year 2019 Tourist Development Tax Revenue Projections, as well as general updates. She will call for action on staff’s recommendations for appointment to fill seven seats on the Arts, Culture, and Heritage grant panel (Category II). The makeup of the panel must include four members from inside and three members from outside St Johns County. Coincidently, Historic City News was informed that exactly seven applications were received; exactly four local and exactly three out-of-county.

Inside St Johns County applicants:

  • Lisa Johnson Cook, Cook Fine Arts, Bachelors in Studio Art, Ponte Vedra Coalition Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, Director of galleries in Santa Monica and New York, worked for an art publishing company, has presented visual arts at trade shows and galleries, Lymphoma and Leukemia Society annual fund-raisers, primarily focused on contemporary arts
  • George Featherston, retired general manager Sawgrass Country Club, “Bachelors in Hotel, Restaurant and Inst. Management”, PV Beach Rotary Club Lifecare St. Johns PV Beach Friends of the Library, General Manager of Marriott Resorts, General Manager of Marriott Resorts, Fantasy Festival in Key West, Chairman of housing for Super Bowl 39, none provided
  • Rod Morris, Planet Earth Realty, high school diploma, San Marco Chamber of Music Florida Chamber Music Project, “As a real estate broker, promotes the area”, works with out-of-state property buyers, “promoter of local musicians, artists and performers”, Susanne Schuenke art exhibit Venardos Circus, none provided
  • Susanne Schuenke, fine arts painter, PhD History of Arts, National League of American Pen Wm Jacksonville Artist Guild, basic background in advertising and graphic design, none provided, preparing and mounting exhibits and a published writer, art exhibits, talks and interactive presentations

Outside St Johns County applicants:

  • John Graham, Arts Management Consultant (GA), Masters in Arts and Business Administration, Americans for the Arts League of American Orchestras Congress for the New Urbanism, TDC ACH Grant Panelist for St. Johns and Broward County, none provided, Performing Arts Management and Development Consultant, Events and Festivals for Seattle and Oregon Symphonies and the Florida Philharmonic, Consultant to Lauderdale County (AL) History Museum
  • Diane Ruggiero, “City of Alexandria, VA”, Masters of Art Administration, Virginians for the Arts Americans for the Arts, Visit Alexandria (CVB) Asheville Tourism Office, none provided, operation and management of Torpedo Factory Art Center, none provided, Work with Office of Historic Alexandria
  • Jacob Sinatra, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (OH), Bachelors in Arts Management, young non-profit professionals alliance for the Great Lakes Young Professionals Downtown Cleveland Alliance City Advocates, has worked with local tourism bureau, Collaborates with non-profits through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Visual and performing artist, “organize, implement and market events through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture”, basic knowledge

Monthly reports from the Visitors Convention Bureau and Cultural Council will be provided to members in packets. The meeting will adjourn following TDC member comments.

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