New Destination Marketing Organization takes shape with appointment of directors

by Rebecca Lamb,

Visit The County, the new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), is one step closer to reality with the appointment of its first board of directors. From a pool of 33 applicants, the municipality's Nominating Committee recommended and County Council approved seven (7) directors and one (1) Council representative. Council also agreed to have Mayor Ferguson extend an invitation to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to appoint an additional director to the inaugural Visit The County Board, upon recommendation from the Nominating Committee.

Read the full PSA here:

Meet Your Board

The Board of the DMO is predominantly skills-based. The directors include a mix of those involved in and benefitting from tourism, as well as those fully removed from the industry but possessing skills and qualifications that make them an ideal fit for representing the diversity of the community. They are: Christal Agostino, Mikki Arends, Rachel Baque, Sarah Doiron, Sherry Karlo, Rebecca Mackenzie, Charles McKee, Council Representative John Hirsch and a TBA Representative from the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Public directors will serve a two-year term, while the appointed councillor will serve until the end of this Council's term.

The first meeting of the Visit The County board of directors will take place later this month following the June 21, 2022 meeting of Council and legal incorporation. A more formal introduction to the board via this newsletter, and likely through other means to be determined by the Board, will follow.

Other opportunities to get involved with Visit The County through working groups and/or committees are anticipated, and will be part of early discussions among the Board.

Visit The County Staff

Visit The County is expected to seek candidates for the full-time staff position of Executive Director who will work with tourism stakeholders, and partner organizations/associations to support the day-to-day operations of Visit The County. With help from County staff, the new Board will likely launch a competition later this month, and the contract could be awarded for this position in August.

What About 'Team Tourism' ?

Samantha Porter-Mills, Digital Marketing & Communications Analyst, will remain in her current capacity in order to maintain consistency throughout the transition to the new DMO where she will be the first employee.

Rebecca Lamb, Destination Development & Marketing Coordinator, is wrapping up seven years of work with The County when her current contract ends June 30, 2022.

Karen Palmer was recently awarded the new position of Economic Development Officer within the Community Services, Programs and Initiatives Department.

Agreement reached with Stay PEC on Municipal Accommodation Tax

The municipality has reached an agreement with Stay PEC on its portion of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 9, Council agreed to recognize Stay PEC as a stand-alone tourism entity, eligible for a portion of the MAT revenues due to their legal status prior to the creation of the MAT framework in Prince Edward County. The majority of MAT funds will go to Visit The County. The agreement will go to Council for ratification on June 21.

In consultation with members of the Stay PEC Board, a Financial Accountability Agreement has been created between The County and Stay PEC to honour the legal requirement to recognize them as an eligible entity. The agreement also expresses a desire for both DMOs to work in partnership to support tourism marketing and management.


When will The County officially hand over the tourism reins to Visit The County?

The DMO will assume their responsibilities following the June 21, 2022 meeting of Council and legal incorporation.

How can I get involved in a Visit The County committee or working group?

This will be part of early discussions among the Board and more information about getting involved should be anticipated in the coming months. Opportunities will be shared through this newsletter and social channels.

How can I apply to be on the Board in the future?

More information about how the DMO will handle Board terms, applications and selection will be available after the Board establishes the by-laws of the DMO. Future Board appointments will be done by the existing Board, and not through the Nominating Committee of Council.

Where can I find out more about the inaugural Directors skills and experience?

Watch this space for more information about the Directors including headshots and professional bios in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of creating a governance page on the Visit The County website ( where this information will be housed.

How will this be affected by the new Council in the fall?

The new Council will affect the DMO board in that the current Council representative's term will end and a new Council representative will be nominated for the duration of their term on Council. Otherwise the new term of Council will not directly affect the DMO board nor its operations.

Where is the inaugural Board holding their meetings? How can I attend?

Location, frequency and how the meetings will be made accessible to the public is to be determined by the Board as they establish the by-laws and policies for good governance of the new DMO.

Can changes be made to By-Law No. 1 at a later date?

A mandatory review of By-Law No. 1 is set as a clause within the municipal by-law for December 31, 2024.

Why is Stay PEC being acknowledged as an eligible entity and receiving MAT funds?

Ontario Regulation 436/17 (Transient Accommodation Tax) mandates the municipality to provide a contribution to Stay PEC from the MAT funds to replace revenues they previously collected through the voluntary Destination Marketing Program (DMP), which was in existence prior to Council passing the by-law to collect MAT funds. This positions them as a legally eligible entity to receive MAT funds.

Where/how do I apply for the Strategic Implementation Lead role?

More information about the job and how to apply will be made available after the Board's initial meeting. Stay tuned as we'll share those details here!

How do we contact Visit The County?

For now, it's the same as usual:

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