CVB looking for new executive director - - The News for South Mississippi

CVB looking for new executive director

Areng declined to comment. (Photo source: WLOX News) Areng declined to comment. (Photo source: WLOX News)

There was a big shake up at the Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau on Thursday as the board voted not to renew the contract of its executive director. 

The regular meeting of the Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau began with a general review of business. Board members then went into executive session to discuss the future of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Executive Director Renee Areng.

With her three-year contract expiring July 31, Areng was anxious to find out her fate. 

"It's hard to wait while your future is being decided. I'm proud of what we've done here,"Areng said.

Board members decided to extend Areng's contract to Sept. 30, but not to renew it. 

"Next thing is Renee will continue to serve as executive director until the end of the fiscal year. A search committee will be named and a search will begin to find a new executive director," said Bureau President Clay Wagner.

Wagner was the only board member who went on record with details of the decision. Tourism officials will now initiate a search for a new executive director.

"Probably within the next week, if not the next few days, [we] will act on that based on today's vote. That could not be done before today's vote because nobody knew how it would turn out. So now that we know, we can move ahead with that process," Wagner said.

Wagner was one of the four votes against not renewing the contract. 

"Based on my view of an overall bigger picture of what was best for the Gulf Coast, I don't say I'm right and my fellow commissioners are wrong. We just didn't see eye to eye," said Wagner. 

According to sources, Areng had a strained relationship with some members of the board and some people involved in the tourism industry.

Areng, who is credited with spearheading the effort to create the current three county regional board, declined to comment on the decision.

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