By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation & Visitor Commission (KCCRVC) approved a publicity grant and tabled one for the Oakwood Foundation during a Jan. 12 meeting.
Mark Knecht, the foundation’s president, asked the commission to approve two publicity grants, each totaling $500. The first grant Knecht discussed was for promoting a local Purdue Varsity Glee Club performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Wawasee High School.
Commission Member Dave Gustafson asked how the foundation would promote the event and if any out-of-county promotion would take place.
Knecht said the money would be spent in Kosciusko County to distribute flyers for the event. He told the commission advertising would primarily take place through social media and press releases.
The commission voted to table the Glee Club publicity grant to get more clarity on how the funds will be spent and where promotion will occur.
KCCRVC approved Knecht’s request for a $500 publicity grant for advertising in the Indiana Travel Guide, which will be published in March.
The board also swore in four commission members, two of whom are new additions to KCCRVC.
In a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11, county council voted to have Jessica Harmon, general manager at Tru by Hilton in Warsaw; and Jessica Hartman, hotel manager at Warsaw’s Comfort Inn, serve on the commission.
Council Member Sue Ann Mitchell said the council was looking to fulfill requirements as stated in Indiana Code 6-9-18 to appoint members in the hospitality industry. According to the statute, a majority of the commission must be “engaged in a convention, visitor, or tourism business; or involved in or promoting conventions, visitors, or tourism. If available and willing to serve, at least two of the members must be engaged in the business of renting or furnishing rooms, lodging, or accommodations.”
With Hartman and Harmon’s appointments, the requirement would be fulfilled. Tammy Kratzer and Jo Paczkowski, who were appointed by the council, no longer serve on the commission.
These new appointments would bring the commission to a total of three members who are part of the hospitality industry. Kathy Ray, who was voted as president of the commission during the Jan. 12 meeting, is the general manager for Warsaw’s Hampton Inn.
County Councilman Ernie Wiggins said the decision had nothing to do with personalities.
During the KCCRVC meeting, Mitchell thanked Kratzer and Paczkowski for their time and efforts in serving on the commission.
“They have been hardworking, willing to spend their time,” said Mitchel. “Jo has been on this board for 11 years and Tammy has been on for six. That’s a lot of time and a lot of hours. I appreciate the fact that all of you are willing to serve and I hope that this will be a successful forward move.”
The commission also voted to have Mark Skibowski as vice-president and John Hall as treasurer. Secretarial duties will be tentatively handled by the county auditor’s office since meetings are now recorded and viewable by the public.
County Auditor Michelle Puckett said an inter-local agreement would have to be worked out amongst the county council, commissioners and the KCCRVC for that to happen.
KCCRVC also learned that the City-County Athletic Complex is planning on bringing a multi-year strategic plan to the commission’s March meeting.
The March meeting will take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Kosciusko County Courthouse.