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Jamestown 2007 director ends stint
At the same time the committee running Jamestown 2007 parted ways in a public dispute with President William Cone in October, the group also stripped corporate fund-raiser Victor Clough of his duties and gave him new responsibilities.
Six months after the change, Clough is quitting his job as director of operations at Jamestown 2007. There are no signs of another ugly divorce. Clough is ending a long commute from his Northern Neck home and returning to his old employer, Rappahanock Community College.
"We realigned the staff last fall and his title moved to director of operations," said Ross Richardson, spokesman for Jamestown 2007, a sub-agency of the state-run Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. "He was in charge of the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day operations."
The loss of two top administrators on Jamestown 2007's small staff comes as the organizers are far behind in their fund-raising efforts. The committee is making some changes to address the issue, including hiring a new local company that was formed earlier this year to try and raise corporate dollars.
Jamestown 2007 is working with a consulting firm called The Allen Group, which is headed by Bud Allen and two other professionals with experience working with corporations. Jeanne Zeidler, the mayor of Williamsburg who took over for Cone as executive director, said Allen retired to the area after a career in the automotive and consumer product industries in the Midwest.
"They're using contacts built over very distinguished careers to open some corporate doors to us," said Zeidler.
With fund raising still a little short of what Jamestown 2007 needs, the contract for New York-based consulting group Prosody Creative Services ends in June. Prosody is in charge of organizing promotional events for Jamestown 2007 and company owner Ken Ashby took Cone's title of executive producer last fall.
"We'll work with him on structuring a contract that says we are not through the fund-raising process yet," Richardson said.
Ashby's company has been planning on 12 main events starting in a year to promote the 400th anniversary of the country's first settlement: sailing the Godspeed replica ship up the East Coast, a national teach-in event for students and a four-day celebration in mid-2007.
Prosody's resume includes two Super Bowl half-time shows. The next contract is for Prosody to actually carry out the events. Richardson said the scope of the company's duties spelled out in the contract should be scalable.
"The more money we raise, the larger events we'll be able to stage," said Richardson. "This summer we don't have to lock into a certain size of event."
Clough left his job as a project manager at the college's work force center in June 2003 to become the director of sponsorships and partnerships for the Jamestown committee. Clough's original job was to raise money from corporate sponsors.
Jamestown 2007 wanted to find 13 sponsors willing to put up $3 million each by the end of 2004 so marketing could start in earnest in 2005. The $39 million would be used for marketing and special events.
But only two sponsors have signed on and the group is emphasizing that the No. 13 was only used because it symbolized the original colonies. The committee's budget doesn't require $39 million to stick to its plans, said Richardson.
"We will be raising funds into early next year," said Richardson. "There's no reason for panic."
The state will contribute $10 million to $12 million, and Norfolk Southern and Colonial Williamsburg have committed to a total of $5 million. Norfolk Southern will put up $3 million, and CW has committed to $2 million in cash plus an additional $1 million in donated services.
With only $5 million in corporate cash in its coffers, the Jamestown committee might be faced with tough decisions about spending cuts. The organization planned on spending $20 million to $24 million on events to promote the celebration, and Zeidler said she still expects 12 events.
"That was set up knowing there would be a lot of variables along the way," said Richardson. "If we didn't get to those goals, we could scale back."
Clough previously said he had a list of about 90 potential sponsors. Becoming what's called a "founding colony sponsor" entitles a company to use Jamestown 2007 in marketing.
Instead of a sports event like the Olympics that happens repeatedly, Jamestown 2007 is a one-time occurrence. Companies are having a hard time figuring out how to get value by incorporating the event into their marketing.
The new emphasis on America's 400th Anniversary is a push by The Allen Group to emphasize to corporations that this will be an event with national visibility, Zeidler said. *
FISHING FOR CORPORATE DOLLARS
When Victor Clough lost his job title and William Cone left, much of the fund-raising was taken over by the Jamestown 2007's joint management committee, which includes:
* State Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City County
* Stuart Connock, chairman of the Jamestown 2007 steering committee
* Frank Atkinson, chairman of the federal commission
* Colin Campbell, Colonial Williamsburg president