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New title for LTVA’s LeBan

by Sally J. Taylor

The former interim director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority received on Thursday a new title, a pay increase and the promise of a reduced workload.

Terry LeBan, who has juggled the responsibilities of both interim director and program director since December, was officially appointed LTVA director by the four of seven board members attending Thursday’s meeting. Absent were Don Miner, Tom Davis and John Wagnon.

LeBan succeeds former Executive Director Ron Spellecy who left the organization after just over one year, to work as director of team travel for the Seattle Mariners.

“Based on an evaluation of (LeBan’s) performance and the directional steps she’s taken, she should not be characterized as interim,” said board member Mike Bradford, president of Lakeside Inn & Casino, who brought the motion to the floor.

Bradford recommended the title of “director” rather than “executive director” in keeping with a hierarchical structure for the organization that would make the position more dependent on board direction.

LeBan will start with a salary of $50,000, the low end of the position’s salary range of $50,000 to $75,000.

The board also directed LeBan to compose a job description for her former position as program director and to begin the search for a replacement.

The program director is a “necessary position,” said Bradford. “There’s only so long that Terry’s going to be able to keep all the balls in the air (without help).”

The program director manages sales programs for the LTVA and a variety of other functions including public relations liaison. The salary range is $25,000 to $40,000.

In other action:

— The board formalized salary ranges for all LTVA staff positions as well as for pay increases and the severance structure.

Besides the director and program director, the salary range for both the fulfillment coordinator and the office coordinator was set at $16,000 to $20,000. The administrative assistant receives from $18,000 to $30,000 and the comptroller is $25,000 to $40,000.

— With a better grasp on administrative costs, the board adopted a restricted reserve fund of $200,000 to be set aside for operating costs in the event of funding shortfalls or the dissolution of the LTVA.

The amount is based on three months of administrative costs projected for the year 2001 and is down from the previous operational reserve of $285,000 based on larger staffing levels.

The lower reserve is expected to free additional promotional funds.

— The board was taken pleasantly by surprise by the offer of Phil McKinney, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

Rather than asking for reimbursement for costs incurred at a Bay Area press conference, McKinney called the LTVA’s investment into Operation Sierra Storm even with the NLTRA’s press conference investment.

He explained that the NLTRA did not realize how much the LTVA invested into Operation Sierra Storm, which brings meteorologists from across the nation to the area.

“Let’s call it a wash,” McKinney said. “We’ll take care of the press conference (expenses).”

— The board approved a new structure for membership on the LTVA’s marketing committee of seven members who will have to meet certain minimum requirements, including regular attendance.

Two representatives each will come from the gaming and lodging industries. One member each will represent ski resorts, attractions and restaurant/retail. One at-large member will be elected by the committee and one at-large member will be appointed by the board of directors chairman. One board member will serve as a non-voting committee member, who could vote to break ties.

— The next meeting of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is scheduled for April 23 at 3 p.m. at Lakeside Inn & Casino.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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