FLINT — The Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce has been tapped to lead tourism efforts in Flint-Genesee County, significantly increasing its involvement in shaping the image of the region, and inspiring travelers to visit.
At the request of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners, the Regional Chamber and the County have entered an agreement for the Chamber to market local attractions, and promote tourism and conventions in Flint and Genesee County.
“I’m confident that the Regional Chamber is the right organization to generate excitement about tourism in this region,” said Jamie Curtis, Chairman, Genesee County Board of Commissioners. “They have a strong track record for organization and program management, and have been in the forefront of positioning the county as a great place to do business and live. The tourism role is a good fit.”
The new tourism group is named Flint- Genesee Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (Regional Chamber CVB) and is the Chamber’s first consumer-focused action group. The staff’s primary objective is to increase the overall economic impact of tourism and conventions by attracting more overnight visitors and increasing the frequency and/or length of visitors’ trips. A great deal of effort will go into encouraging residents to visit local attractions and educating visitors about the many attractions within the region.
Tim Herman, CEO of the Regional Chamber says that he and his staff are excited about the new responsibility and have hit the ground running.
“I appreciate the confidence shown in my team by the County Board of Commissioners, t3he Regional Chamber Board and our many partners,” said Herman. “We’re excited to lead the marketing efforts for tourism in Genesee County and doing so with an experienced and talented team of professionals in place.
“We have demonstrated success for many years at promoting the region to businesses and investors,” Herman adds. “Marketing the region as a travel destination is a natural evolution of our messaging and a good fit for our skill set. In addition, one of our core strengths is forming strategic partnerships. This will play an important role in our tourism strategy as we forge crosscounty collaboration with a variety of organizations.”
An Advisory Committee has been established to help advance the goals of the Regional Chamber CVB. The committee will provide direction and assist in setting the strategy. George Cook, Owner of Hill Road Hotel (Formerly known as Americinn Hotel), located in Mundy Township will chair the committee of hoteliers and business leaders. Cook will also serve on the Regional Chamber’s Operating Board and Marketing & Communications Committee.
Cook encourages all members of the community to help promote the region’s assets.
“Despite some of the challenges that the region is facing, I’m optimistic about our future,” said Cook. “The Regional Chamber has a solid infrastructure and marketing resources that can strengthen our efforts to attract more overnight visitors to the area. My colleagues and I are hoping that everyone will support the Chamber, and become ambassadors and community salespeople.”
ROWE Professional Services President & CEO John Matonich serves as Chair of the Regional Chamber’s Board. A staunch advocate of the Flint-Genesee County area, Matonich says tourism is a great fit for the organization.
“The Board is fully supportive of the new tourism responsibilities,” said Matonich. “The Regional Chamber is positioned for success. They know how to integrate new businesses and programs, they have a support structure in place, strong partnerships and they have experience promoting the region.
Leading the Regional Chamber CVB is Cheryl DeFrain serving as the group’s director. DeFrain most recently served as the Interim President of the Flint-Genesee County Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is in the process of being dissolved.
“I’m glad to be a part of the Regional Chamber leadership team,” says DeFrain. “It’s great to have joined an organization that can increase efficiencies, has more resources and employs a team that is passionate about positively promoting our region.”