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Who is ‘we?’ Visitors Bureau discusses improving communication, relationship with Economic Development Partnership

The Convention and Visitors Bureau benefits from being a member of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, but being an EDP member also creates some tensions and problems. That was the consensus among CVB board members at a meeting Thursday.

The CVB board hosted Kyle Talente with consulting firm RKG for a discussion about the pros and cons of the CVB-EDP relationship. RKG has been hired by the CVB to study the Danville-Boyle County area and work with local leaders on a strategic economic development plan.

CVB Chairman Mark Morgan said he spends more time with CVB Director Jennifer Kirchner — who is also in charge of communications for the EDP — discussing and dealing with EDP matters rather than CVB matters. 

“The CVB spends too much time on EDP trying to fit a square peg in a round board,” he said. 

Talente said there is a struggle with the pronoun “we,” and what it means to the EDP and the partners.

The board discussed that EDP uses “we” to mean all nine partners, but the partners are having a hard time using “we” the same way.

“We aren’t yoked together efficiently,” Morgan said. “And it’s hard.”

Talente said everyone needs to get on board with the idea that the EDP is not just one person but there are nine partners involved. 

One thing the EDP can improve on, according to the board, is the way they reach the public. 

The board discussed how there are individuals in the community who don’t understand what the EDP is and don’t know the services it provides, such as assistance for people who are starting businesses.

Board member Brittney Adams said that in order for a community to move forward, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page. Having the CVB involved in the EDP helps keep everyone more informed, she said.

“I think what is good for business is for tourism and what is good for tourism is good for business,” she said.