Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp. makes big changes

Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp. makes big changes, including name


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Following months of turmoil that resulted in the resignation of its board chairman and the retirement of its president and CEO, the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation made several big changes Tuesday morning.

Among the changes was a name change for the organization and removal of the word "interim" from the current president's job title.

Executive committee board members voted to change KTSC's name to the Knoxville Convention & Visitor Bureau, Inc. The organization will market itself as "Visit Knoxville."

Additionally, the executive committee voted to recommend to the board for Kim Bumpas to be named president. She had been KTSC's interim president following Gloria Ray's retirement in February.

"I'm excited about the opportunity," said Bumpas. "I think my passion has shown as far as what I want to do and now I've been given the chance to do that for longer."

A contract with Bumpas will be negotiated and presented to the board at its August meeting. The term of her office is expected to be one year.

Board Chair Bo Connor says having a president is necessary for the stability of the organization.

"Really just stability for the organization, to show the public that we are moving forward and we are planning to stay in business," said Connor.

The committee reported that negotiations are on-going with city to provide visitor services and event organization.

The county is also moving forward with a request for proposal (RFP) process. A contract extension was signed with KTSC in June to give the county more time to consider a new contract, possibly with another organization.

"We feel that we've got a good plan and that we should get those contracts by the end of October," said Connor.

Much of the controversy surrounding the organization came from the compensation Ray collected as KTSC president and CEO. The board learned in February hundreds of thousands of dollars was in paid to her in bonuses that they had previously known nothing about.

The board executive committee also voted to recommend amending bylaws to reduce the number of board members from 23 to 11.

Six members would be appointed by the county, three by the city and two by the board. All members would still have to be approved by the board and commission. It's a step the board chair agrees with.

"We want people to be active and engaged and when you've got a smaller number that's a forced deal; you're active and engaged," said Connor.

To change the number of board members the bylaws would have to be amended. Connor says vote on that measure will be taken at the next board meeting in August.

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