December 2018 HACVB Board meeting minutes

Houma Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Rescheduled Meeting Minutes

December 20, 2018

Board Members in attendance:                    Absent Board Members

Mary Lynn Bisland – Chairperson                   Julie Falgout

Dale Norred – Secretary/Treasurer

Katherine Gilbert – Vice Chair

Andree Buquet-Casey

Charles Wilson, Sr.

Cheri Blanchard


Staff Members in attendance:                      

Sondra Corbitt – Executive Director

Bobbie Smith – Financial Office Manager


Community Members in attendance:

Ms. Anne Picou with Houma Downtown Development Corporation

Ms. Katie Portier with Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence in Public Education

Mr. Jonathan Foret with South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center

Ms. Mary Benson with Voice of the Wetlands

Ms. Theresa Benoit with Voice of the Wetlands

Ms. Bonnie Dupre with Sunrise Rotary Club of Houma Foundation


  1. Call to order

M. Bisland called to order the regular meeting of the HACVB at 8:36 am on Thursday, December 20, 2018 at HACVB Administration building in the Conference Room.

  1. Roll call

Quorum was present.


  1. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance:

C. Blanchard led the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance.

  1. Public to be Heard

No one from the public present to be heard.



  1. Approval of November 2018 Minutes and October 2018 Financial Reports

The November 2018 minutes were approved as presented.  A motion was made by D. Norred and seconded by K. Gilbert and passed unanimously.

October 2018 Financial reports which include the following reports:

  • Balance Sheet
  • YTD Income Statement Comparison
  • Income Statement Previous Year Comparison
  • Income Statement YTD Budget vs. Actual
  • Income Statement MTD Budget Performance


These reports were provided prior to the meeting.  The Financial Reports reflect the budget-to-actual comparisons for the General Fund and were approved as provided by motion of D. Norred and seconded by K. Gilbert and passed unanimously.

  1. 2019 Board of Director’s Officers Elections

M. Bisland presented the list of nominees which was provided prior to the meeting, as follows:

  • Chairperson – Katherine Gilbert
  • Vice Chairperson – Andrée Casey
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Dale Norred

The Nominees were approved as provided by motion of C. Blanchard and seconded by C. Wilson and passed unanimously.  These Officers along with Sondra Corbitt – Executive Director need to be on the signature cards at South Louisiana Bank and Synergy Bank.

  1. 2019 Board of Director’s Meeting Schedule

The 2019 Board of Director’s Meeting Schedule was provided before this meeting and presented as follows by S. Corbitt:

January 31, 2019                     July 25, 2019

February 28, 2019                   August 22, 2019

March 28, 2019                       September 26, 2019

April 25, 2019                         October 24, 2019

May 23, 2019                          November 21, 2019

June 27, 2019                          December 19, 2019



  1. Festival Grant Sponsorship Certificate Presentation

M. Bisland presented the 2019 Festival Grant Sponsorship certificates to the following organizations and their representatives:

  1. Voice of the Wetlands, Inc. represented by Ms. Mary Benson and Ms. Theresa Benoit
  2. Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence in Public Education represented by Ms. Katie Portier
  3. South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center represented by Mr. Jonathan Foret
  4. Houma Downtown Development Corporation represented by Ms. Anne Picou
  5. Sunrise Rotary Club of Houma Foundation represented by Ms. Bonnie Dupré and Ms. Andrée Casey
  1. 2019 Sponsorship Applications:  Family Campers and RVers National Retiree Rally

S. Corbitt went over the Family Campers and RVers National Retiree Rally recommendation as it was provided prior to the meeting.  A motion was made by A. Casey to give the organization $5,000.00 and it was seconded by C. Blanchard and passed unanimously.

  1. Air BNB Discussion

S. Corbitt spoke about the Air BnB situation.  Short-term rentals is developing more and more into the area.  LACVB and Louisiana Office of Tourism is wanting to go after the short-term rentals so that they can get the hotel/motel occupancy tax because technically they are renting out rooms and should be paying this tax.

The reason for this topic being brought up now is to have our Board state that we are on board with starting to go after the short-term rentals.  Currently they are paying New Orleans and Lafayette.

S. Corbitt needs to make an appointment with Mark Ortiz at TPCG Sales and Use Tax to make sure that he is on-board to start collecting it.

LOT is recommending representation with lawyer that is on-board and currently working with Short-term Rentals occupancy tax.  S. Corbitt needs to make an appointment to speak with the lawyer.

S. Corbitt also needs to have a discussion with Air BnB to make a move on this situation.  Once Air BnB agrees, then it will come back to our Board because we are the taxing authority for hotel/motel taxes.  The HACVB Board will have to approve that agreement and then get back to TPCG Sales & Use Tax Collection to begin collecting the tax.

The short-term rental owners must register for a license with parish and for sales and use tax.

The Board will review this at next month’s meeting.

  1. Mark Pitre’s Board Position Discussion

Mr. Mark Pitre addressed the board stating that he did miss 4 meetings because of court and office related.  He stated that he is not here to not follow the rules, but he wanted the Board to know how this became and how the Council got involved.  Mr. Pitre stated that he did call the councilman that nominated him and explained that he will be leaving the Board because of missing the meetings and following what the Bylaws state.  He stated that whatever is decided that he is fine with it and understands and that it was a pleasure being on the Board.

After a lengthy discussion it was decided that S. Corbitt will compose a letter informing Mr. Pitre that there are no avenues for non-reported absences and according to the HACVB’s Board of Director’s Bylaws the excuses provided for the absences are not considered as an unforeseen emergency; and he will have to sit off the HACVB’s Board for a year; however, that we encourage him to reapply when a vacancy arises.

S. Corbitt stated that we will have new Policies and Procedures binders for the January meeting.

  1.  Executive Director’s Monthly Report

S. Corbitt presented her report which touched on the Occupancy Rate, State Dedication Funding, Papa Noël, Marketing Research, CPA Legislative Audit and her Board appointments to Downtown Development and LACVB’s Education Committee.

S. Corbitt mentioned that she will have Joey present the Young Strategies PowerPoint at the January meeting.

  1. Adjournment

It was motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:29 am by M. Bisland and seconded by D. Norred and the motion carried.


______________________________________         _____________________

Approval of Minutes by                                                      Date

Dale Norred, Secretary/Treasurer