A new face with new enthusiasm and drive will be taking over as administrator for the Oakdale Travel and Visitors Bureau (OTVB) after the departure of Ramona Howard who left the organization to pursue other career interests.
This week the OTVB announced that former event planner, Pam Dumas, was selected for the position after a local recruitment.
“While it was a blow to lose the energy and creativity of Ms. Howard, it was the right transition place while we’re righting the direction,” said OTVB Chairman Keith Boggs.
Dumas, 56, of Modesto said she was excited to begin the new position and undertake some of the new projects she will be assigned.
Recently the OTVB contracted with consultant Roger Brooks to help brand the city and develop the city’s tourism.
“We have a lot of big plans for downtown,” said Dumas and the move to promote ‘Farm Fresh California’ for Oakdale. “It’s great to be getting in on the ground floor of something happening.”
Dumas said for the last few weeks she has been meeting with city officials and merchants to introduce herself and get more familiar with the city. She has also been shadowing Howard at the Farmers Markets sponsored by OTVB.
“These changes aren’t going to happen overnight though,” said Dumas.
“We’re very excited about the direction we’re taking,” said Boggs. “Pam has phenomenal people skills and is very down to earth.”
Boggs said the group is in the process of defining their action plan and was basically in a “pause mode” until 2015.
Dumas said she has enjoyed the first phase of the new assignment and working with the 11 person board she described as “roll up your sleeves and get it done” individuals.
In 2013 the OTVB came under scrutiny for its lack of timely financial reporting and a separate issue in the summer when Howard criticized Councilman Farrell Jackson in a widely distributed email for his stance on the city’s proposed park drinking ban.
Boggs’ hope is to move past those issues and to start working with other organizations in the city.
Since the beginning of the year the OTVB has been in a state of change with new directors appointed to set to give the group more effectiveness in bringing tourism to the city and provide the community more involvement in the direction it will take.