The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission is looking to hire a director. The A&P Commission consists of William Moss, Alderman Glen Brown Jr., Alderwoman Thelma Walker, Wanda Bateman and Rosie Pettigrew. They oversee money collected by the A&P tax, which is two percent on the sale of prepared foods and three percent on hotel stays.


The Civic Auditorium and Complex Commission has hired Joseph McCorvey to be the new executive director of the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The Civic Auditorium and Complex Commissioners oversee the operations of the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Commissioners are appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. Commissioners are not paid for their service.


William Moss said the A&P director would be paid for by money as specified by the City of Pine Bluff Code of Ordinances Sec. 13-49.


“There is hereby created a fund to be known as the Pine Bluff advertising and promotion fund. All taxes, interest, penalties and costs collected pursuant to section 13-47(a) shall be credited to said fund. All revenues received by the advertising and promotion commission shall be ‘special revenues, and shall be deposited by the advertising and promotion commission in such bank account or accounts as may be designated by said commission. (b) All monies credited to the fund shall be used by the commission for advertising and promoting the city and its environs or for the construction, reconstruction, extension, equipment, improvement, maintenance, repair, and operation of a convention center or for the operation of tourist promotion facilities in the city, and facilities necessary for, supporting, or otherwise pertaining to, a convention center, for funding of the arts, for the operation of theme parks, family entertainment facilities, or other tourist-oriented facilities as determined by the advertising and promotion commission not inconsistent with Arkansas enabling statutes.”


Moss said the A&P Commission will hold a special called meeting and move into executive session to consider the applicants.


Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington does not attend all the A&P Commission or Civic Auditorium & Complex Commission meetings. She did not attend the meeting when the A&P Commission discussed hiring a director. Washington said that the city used to employ one director who reported to both commissions and that she met with city of Pine Bluff assistant attorney Joe Childers, and he told her that each commission is allowed by law to have its own director.


“When I heard it, I was not sure how it would be done,” Washington said.


Washington said that Joseph McCorvey will be the director who runs the convention center. Asked if having two directors is a poor use of money, Washington said she needs to speak with members of both commissions before answering that question.


“I think they have separated the two budgets,” Washington said. “Once I meet with them, I will be able to speak with you. I think it would be not wise for me to speak until I speak with them.”


These people applied to be A&P director:Sherry Livingston, the publisher and editor of Markus Magazine;Valenya Franks, a training solutions specialist at CAE USA;Donna Ryles, a program coordinator at the Natural Resources Commission;Sheri Storie, the interim executive director of the Pine Bluff Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.


Moss provided a list of the essential duties and responsibilities of this position. The person must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of hospitality industry experience with marketing responsibilities preferred.


The person will do these tasks:Implement the policies and procedures set forth by the A&P Commission.Work for the development of tourism products and attractions.Positively represent Pine Bluff tourism to the general public.Oversee and implement coordination, marketing and communication efforts, including online content, media buys, social media, and preparation of regular reports.Prepare oral, written and graphic presentations and reports to the commission at monthly meetings.Coordinate sharing of resources and initiatives with local organizations.Develop and maintain an in-depth knowledge of all attractions, facilities, and community events in Pine Bluff.Maintain a familiarity with competitive markets, facilities and issues that impact the commission’s ability to sell Pine Bluff and its attractions.Work with the commission’s marketing committee to engage advertising services to implement a branding program and direction toward shared resources and shared initiatives aimed at promoting Pine Bluff tourism and fostering a sense of community among initiative participants.Represent the commission at selected local, state, regional, and national conventions that serve to foster the betterment of the commission’s mission.Prepare and coordinate funding requests to be presented to the commission.Develop, manage, and monitor the operating budget.Produce and distribute monthly and annual financial reports.