MARYSVILLE — Eric Phillips, CEO of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, announced Thursday, June 14 the resignation of Tina Knotts as Director of Tourism and Marketing of the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), effective July 31.
“It is with regret that I announce Tina’s resignation, as she has made a definitive impact that will benefit Union County, the Chamber of Commerce and the CVB for years,” Phillips said. “Her passion and dedication to our organization and the Union County/Marysville community have made such a positive impact on our quality of life. We are in a better place because of her.”
Before becoming director of the Union County Chamber and CVB in 2011, Knotts led the Champaign County Chamber and CVB.
In 2016, she transitioned to her current role as Director of Tourism and Marketing of the Union County CVB. At that time the Union County Chamber Board of Trustees decided to appoint separate directors to lead the Chamber and CVB due to growth in local business, Chamber membership and tourism.
“This decision is bittersweet, but it helped knowing that I met all of my objectives with the support of the talented CVB team,” Knotts said. “It’s been a pleasure and honor to work with such a dedicated staff and volunteers who share my passion for promoting our community, businesses and tourism.”
The CVB’s achievements under Knotts’ leadership have included opening the Union Station 1820 welcome center in Uptown Marysville, expanding the Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival to a three-day event, enhancing tourism marketing, attracting more bus tours to Union County, developing the Milestone program to celebrate local communities’ and business’s milestone anniversaries, and improving relationships with Union County communities and organizations. In addition, the Union County CVB has won numerous state tourism awards.
Knotts said she decided to resign to devote more time to her family and her growing bakery in Urbana, Let’s Eat Cake, which involves four generations of her family.
Phillips said that plans are in place to recruit a new CVB director. In the transition, Knotts will continue with the CVB with reduced hours through July 31. After that she will be on contract with the CVB through October to help with the transition and the Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival, which will be held Sept. 21-23.
“We’re truly happy for Tina, but we have tremendously big shoes to fill,” said Ashley Schwyn, President of the Union County Chamber Board of Trustees. “Tina’s been very innovative and not afraid to take risks. For the long-term, she has completely changed the landscape for Union County, from the Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival, to pulling together our local growers to help them have a unified voice, to Union Station.”
Mardy Hanlon-Stolte, who has worked with Knotts as a CVB volunteer, primarily as chairperson of the Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival, said, “I’ll miss Tina’s enthusiasm for Union County as well as her zest for life. It’s been a heartfelt privilege working with her. Because of Tina’s attention to detail, the festival is a memorable experience especially for those who attend the charming Dinner on the Bridge.”
Information from Union County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.