MCVIC Celebrates 20 Years as a Non-Profit
The Mathews County Visitor & Information Center has recently experienced a growth spurt after one of the toughest years of operating. This year, MCVIC celebrates its twentieth year as a non-profit organization serving the community of Mathews. MCVIC’s mission is to serve as the tourism-arm for the county, supporting economic development by marketing our businesses, local experiences and tours, events, outdoor recreation and the county’s natural assets.
The organization is run by an Executive Director, Emily Allen, who was able to stay employed thanks to Chesapeake Bank’s Payroll Protection Program loans throughout the entire pandemic. The Director reports to a Visitor Center Advisory Board (VCAB) that meets monthly to discuss the business of tourism in the county and at the center. The center itself is comprised of an information desk with brochures and pamphlets, a Chesapeake Museum Room, and a gift shop displaying the work of roughly 80 local artists. The day-to-day of the center is run by an evolving force of dedicated volunteers. The unique atmosphere and history of the Sibley’s General Store, combined with the compassion, and energy of our volunteers is what makes MCVIC a special place for both residents and visitors, we are very much a community-run organization.
The Visitor Center Advisory Board has welcomed four new board members to its team this year who all bring valuable perspectives to our tourism industry in Mathews: Rosemary Griffith, Realtor with IsaBell K. Horsley Real Estate and Burtons Waterfront, Charlotte Kelly who works at a senior living center and managed Lynne’s Diner and Beach Bum BBQ for over 20 years, Carmaleta Billups, photographer and Executive Pastor at Relevant Church, and Christine Johnson, President of the Mathews Outdoor Club and Sales Product Leader at ADP.
Other VCAB board members include: Greg Dusenberry (President), Lynda Smith Greve (Vice President), Hunt Thompson (Treasurer), bobbi hatton (Secretary), Sheila Crowley, Paul Dubois, Judy Bailey Kinker and Bruce Nelson.
MCVIC Hires Retail Manager
MCVIC also recently hired a new Retail Manager, Bonnie Sohn. Bonnie is a retired teacher and moved to Mathews 3 years ago from Henrico County. She felt a draw to the Visitor Center after she and her husband moved to Sibley’s Creek. She is also an artist, and responsible for the spring mural paintings on the storefront windows. Bonnie will be helping with the center’s growth by managing the volunteers, training, and retail operations.
Apart from our professional growth, MCVIC has also trained and recruited 8 new volunteers: David Richardson, Hunt Thompson, Janine Burns, Josie Thorpe, Judy Jay and Fred Wynn, Lisa Hawks, and Roxann Lawrence. MCVIC is currently open Tuesday- Saturday, 10am-4pm, and hopes to be back to be open 7 days a week sometime this summer.
More information can be found at visitmathews.com, or by visiting us in person at 239 Main Street, Mathews.