The Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance’s Business Council now has a permanent leader in place.
Williamsburg native Terry Banez was officially appointed as executive director of the Williamsburg Business Council March 21.
The Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance announced the appointment Wednesday in a news release.
Banez has served as interim executive director of the Business Council since September. She was appointed as interim following the departure of former chamber President Karen Riordan.
“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our staff, members and the community at large about the successful job that Terry has done in leading the Business Council and supporting the work of the Williamsburg Tourism Council and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance over the past seven months. We felt it was the appropriate time to remove Interim from her title,” said Alliance Board Chairwoman Jeanne Zeidler in the news release.
The chamber and tourism alliance said Banez helped increased Business Council membership by 48 percent since she was put into the interim position.
During that time, the Business Council also facilitated the merger of the alliance’s former young professionals group, ASCEND, with the area Young Emerging Professionals group.
“I am honored to continue leading the Business Council and to have the support of the Alliance Board of Directors, staff and our local businesses,” Banez said in the release. “I look forward to partnering with the community to strengthen our businesses through advocacy, credibility, business development and networking opportunities.”
Around the same time of Riordan’s departure, the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance was also restructured, dividing Riordan’s president position into two executive director positions: one for the Business Council and another for the Tourism Council.
On March 14, the Tourism Council announced the appointment of Victoria Cimino as their executive director. She will be tasked with determining the fate of millions of dollars in tax revenue generated by Senate Bill 942.
Senate Bill 942 went into effect July 1, and sets aside tax revenue generated by the $2 room tax from hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts and a 1 percent increase in state sales tax. Half of the funding from the taxes will go toward marketing the Historic Triangle as a tourist destination.