Canada Weeks in VB Comes Early this Year!

From now until June 12, and from August 14- October 31 (excluding Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend, respectively) Virginia Beach hotels, restaurants and shops will be offering discounts to our visitors from Canada to help intensify our relationship with our Canadian customers.

Click here for further details!

Inspiration at this Weekend’s NHSCA National Wrestling Championships

One of the largest scholastic wrestling events in the US, including more than 400 college coaches who are here recruiting and offering scholarships on site, the NHSCA National Wrestling Champinoship is back and offering up a heavy dose of inspiration through one of the event’s wrestlers, Zack Anglin, who was born without arms and legs. He may not fit the mold of what you’d expect in a championship wrestler, but looks can certainly be deceiving.

The event is a great annual event for our CVB. This year is estimated to bring 3,600 – 3,700 wrestlers, and 4,000 – 5,000 parents and coaches to Virginia Beach!


American Collegiate Rugby Championship Set to Return to Virginia Beach

This championship rugby event will bring over 20 college teams to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex April 29-May 1. Last year’s ACRC7s was conservatively estimated to have had a direct economic impact of $233,376 on Virginia Beach, including drawing 531 out-of-town visitors, 88.2% of whom stayed in local hotels. We expect additional teams and a greater positive impact from this important event in 2016.

The three-day event is open to the public. Learn more about this year’s ACRC7s here.

New Hire Q&A: Samantha Bernheim

Please welcome Samantha Bernheim, who joined our team this week as a full-time Event Coordinator! Samantha has been with us part-time since December 2015 and brings a wealth of enthusiasm, creativity, and service experience to the VBCC.

Let’s get to know her a little better:

Do you have any children, a significant other, siblings, or pets?
I have an older sister and a younger brother, which makes me the middle child. I learned a lot of the do’s and don’ts having a sister so close in age. Also, I have the absolute cutest, sweetest and funniest dog named Fungo. I could talk about him for hours.

What is your all-time best Halloween costume?
I wouldn’t say it was my favorite, but probably my best costume was the one my Mother made for my sister and I when I was three. She handmade pumpkin outfits and painted our faces. I’ll definitely be keeping with that tradition if I have children one day…or learn to make clothing for dogs.

How do you recharge?
I love taking my dog on a run down to the ocean early in the morning when there’s no one there. I find it so peaceful to listen to the waves and taking the time to sit and appreciate all that I have.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Well if it’s a movie about me, I would want to definitely make it an action comedy. I think Sandra Bullock would be the perfect actress for the job with her confidence and wittiness.

Have you ever played any musical instruments?
I tried the viola once in elementary school, but soon found that it just wasn’t for me. I’ve accepted not being musically inclined aside from my mother, who played the piano, clarinet, flute and also sang for a travelling choir. I’ve tried my hand at a few other instruments, but I’ll just stick to sports.

What is your favorite food or drink to make?
Simple shish kabobs with steak, chicken, shrimp and veggies are my favorite. They’re easy to make, smell and taste delicious and I also like to brag about how well I can start a grill.

What is the first live concert you can remember seeing?
On a smaller scale, my family and I frequently went to concerts in Ocean View at the small pavilion next to the water. There were always Beach Boy type cover bands with food trucks, snow cones, glow sticks and lots of dancing. There’s just something about dancing barefoot in the grass that makes my heart happy.

Who is your favorite sports figure ever?
I’m not one for having an individual sports role model like a lot of kids did growing up. Honestly my very first softball coaches were the biggest influences because they spent so much extra time out of their day making me a great ball player. There’s a lot of life lessons to learn in the game of baseball, or softball in my case.

What is your favorite place that you have vacationed?
I love going off the road map and exploring the great outdoors. I have this secret camping spot my family goes to every now and then with hiking trails, a creek and waterfalls. I’d take climbing rocks and cold creek water over a 5 star hotel any day.

What is one piece of advice you would give others about life?
Take advantage of opportunities because every experience is a learning one. Whether it’s jobs, relationships, new locations, there’s always something you can take away from it to make you a better you.


Welcome aboard, Samantha!

Coverage of Jim’s Passing

Jim’s Memorial Service has been scheduled for tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Convention Center.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Virginia Beach Travel and Tourism Foundation, where a memorial scholarship has been established in his name. Donations can be mailed to the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, ATTN: Scholarship Fund, 2101 Parks Avenue Suite 500, Virginia Beach, VA 23451. Please make checks payable to the Virginia Beach Travel and Tourism Foundation.

Tiffany has an envelope on her door for checks, if you wish to make a donation. You can also send via inter-office mail.

“Virginia Beach” +tourism on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 12:03:50
13 News @ Noon (News)
“Virginia Beach” +”convention and visitors” on WAVY-NFK (NBC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 12:08:55
WAVY News 10 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +tourism on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 12:31:08
13 News @ Noon (News)
“Virginia Beach” +”convention and visitors” on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 16:32:16
13 News @ 4 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +”convention center” on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 16:33:18
13 News @ 4 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +tourism on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 17:21:16
13 News @ 5 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +tourism on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 17:26:04
13 News @ 5 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +tourism on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 17:29:16
13 News @ 5 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +”convention center” on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 17:30:28
13 News @ 5:30 (News)
“Virginia Beach” +”convention and visitors” on WVEC-NFK (ABC) – Norfolk, VA
03/24/2016 23:05:13
13 News @ 11 (News)
“Virginia beach” +festival on Global Toronto – Canada Toronto
03/25/2016 07:00:32

Safety Review Committee Minutes – 3/16/2016

Members present – Scott Kalis, Judy Weiss, Herb Maher, Renee Jackson (Recorder), Barry Shockley, Jim Todd, Reggie Padgett, Talmadge Piland, Terri Hoppel, Frank L. Fentress, Jarvis Lynch, John Hixon, Lisa Hicks, Karen Kephart, Jason Stroud, and Mike Shahsiah.

Review of January meeting minutes – No corrections.  Minutes were approved.

Taleo presentation – Will be presented at a future date.  Technical difficulties.

Introduction of Scott Kalis – Herb introduced Scott Kalis, the new Occupational Health and Safety Manager.  Scott has worked previously, for 27 years, as an Occupational Health & Safety Manager and as a volunteer paramedic, for 25 years,  with VB EMS.

SRC’s presentation for MLT – Scott, Judy, Herb, Jeff, and Frank will be attending.  Herb gave a brief run-thru of the slide presentation to solicit input before finalizing.  Jason Stroud mentioned EMS will determine who will be Bill Kiley’s replacement on the SRC.  Note to grab the AEDs before the fire evacuation drills.  Scott suggested sending out Safety grams to other departments after an incident.  Human Services Department is finally starting a Vehicle Accident/Incident Review Board.  The Backing AD & Distracted Driving Policy will be routed for signatures.  Fleet Management will furnish traffic cones and magnetic stickers.  Herb will email the Backing AD.  It was suggested to remove drinking and eating & personal music devices while driving out of the proposed distracted driving policy and replace with any activities that may distract the driver/operator.  Policy violators will be subject to disciplinary action but remove may be liable for damages.

OSHA reporting of fatalities & severe injuries – Scott discussed reporting, to OSHA, fatalities within 8 hours and hospitalizations within 24 hours.  Supervisor needs to notify the Safety Office.   It is a violation if not reported.

OSHA 300A 2015 data  – Judy passed out a handout, by Department, which listed 2015 OSHA log data.  The data is posted on Beachnet and on the bulletin board in Building 18.

Forklift Training – New employee 2 hour training.  Each Department has an evaluator.  For example:  Public Utilities- David Doss and Parks & Recreation- Mike Barlow.  The Lift Operator Skills Evaluation Form is completed and Herb submits to Renee to type up the training cards which are good for 3 years.  If an incident occurs, (operating recklessly, horseplay, unsafe) they need to retake the training, beginning with the classroom portion.

Upcoming Cut-Saw training (May, June & July) – There are 8 upcoming classes, mostly classroom.  Herb will send out an email confirming dates of the training.  Encourage storeroom employees to come.  Classes will be small in number, 20 each. – Lisa Hicks, discussed a mobile app that will tabulate a safety inspection report for you.  Initially, she did the 14 day free trial.  Cost is approximately $47 for one user, $500 annually.  Discount is available for more users.  Lisa passed around a sample inspection.  The program allows for pictures to be downloaded.  Lisa noted they conduct safety inspections annually and allow thirty days to make corrections.

SRC member departmental update – Karen Kephart- a new director has been selected for the CVB.  Frank Fentress-Upcoming Live Wire Training with Dominion Power in response to an incident.  Scott asked about block training for Live Wire.  Frank Fentress also mentioned the upcoming Safety & Health Fair, Wednesday, September 21st, 2016.  Reggie stated departments are trained before new equipment & vehicles are put in service.  Jason Stroud mentioned the EMS transition with Bruce’s retirement. 

Old/New/Unfinished Business – Frank Fentress, looking at pre-manufactured ladders to access the bed of trucks.  Talmadge, Possible use of ladders on trucks for morning observation to ensure bed is empty.

Next CS&HC meeting, May 19th, 10:00 am, VBCC 

Next SRC meeting, Wednesday, May 4th, 8:00 AM

Department Leadership Meeting Recap – 3/23/16

Dave Hansen opened the meeting talking about the budget. We’re in much better shape this year than we thought six months ago. His highlights were in Ask Dave sent yesterday. He encourages everyone to check out the Budget link on which is here:!/year/default The public can drill down on every detail of our budget. Hint – We are under Economic Vitality. Give it a try. Want to see part of what it cost to operate VBCC? Check out our power bill here, among other things.!/year/2017/operating/0/business_area/Economic+Vitality/0/department/Convention+and+Visitors+Bureau/0/budget_unit/Virginia+Beach+Convention+Center/0/appropriation_category/Other+Charges/0/fund

  • Dave announced a few structural changes to the organization including a plan to move Strategic Growth Areas Office under the Planning Department. Agriculture and Parking would also go under Planning. He announced the creation of a new Deputy City Manager for Safety and apparently the Resort Management Office will be returning to the CVB.


  • Dave wants to make sure we all have the City’s Core Strategic Principals close by. They include:
    • Engage in Systems Thinking
    • Achieve multiple positive outcomes
    • Maintain a long term view
    • Be proactive, prevent problems
    • Create positive community image
    • Create relationships and partnerships
    • Value and promote diversity
    • Ensure sustainability


  • Jeff Rodarmel gave a presentation on his agency, Risk Management
    • Escalation of costs to the City’s self-insurance program
    • Encourage everyone to create a Culture of Safety
      • The doors to safety swing on the hinges of common sense
    • Four City employees are injured every day on the job – a factor four times higher than many area cities.
    • The City pays the first $1.25 million in workers comp claims
      • Legislation this year may allow for reductions in reimbursements for many of these claims.
    • Auto Liability – Self-insured for the first $2 million
    • City has been self-insured since 1976
    • City’s expense for insurance is $17.2 million, 78% of this is for workers compensation
    • Top 10 departments = 99% of claims (CVB isn’t one of them)
    • Self-insurance for the first $50,000  in property damage
      • VBCC is the City’s most valued insured asset by a long shot at $147 million – no other structure is even close
    • The City has a future liability of $31 million (think long term disability or long term medical claims yet to be paid each year)
    • Jeff encourages us to
      • Speak with staff about these numbers
      • Promptly file DF 75 (accident report form)
      • Provide good background investigation of accidents, the who, what, where, when, and witnesses
      • Build a Culture of Safety
    • Dave Hansen followed up the meeting indicating he was going to start holding department directors responsible for workplace safety


  • Judy Weiss followed up Jeff’s presentation about Occupational Safety & Health
    • Introduced new Occ Safety and Health Manager Scott Kalis. He’ll be coming around to all departments meeting leadership to best determine needs.
    • Stressed regulatory compliance
    • Encouraged all to use good practices and share lessons learned
    • Encouraged everyone to take advantage of services they offer including safety training, drills industrial hygiene, First Aid & CPR training, CDL and defensive driving, lock out tag out – and more
    • 6,000 participants in programs in 2015
    • Future – Make safety personal and decentralize safety


  • Rod Ingram, Deputy City Attorney, presented FOIA (freedom of information act)
    • Nancy Bloom has left his office to join Dave Hansen’s team
    • New FOIA paralegal is Melena Johnson 385-4052
    • All FOIA requests should be sent to
    • State laws provide public access to most records
    • Act applies to existing documents
    • Act is very broad and includes just about any kind of communication imaginable. Partial list includes:
      • Emails relating to City business (but not non city business like a message from your vbgov account to your spouse to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home)
      • Letters
      • Texts
      • Recordings
      • Hand written notes
      • Messages to and from your personal devices if they relate to City business
      • In most cases, non-citizens of Virginia or prisoners can’t file FOIA requests – but there are exceptions
      • Requests must be reasonably specific
      • Requests are time sensitive and the City only has 5 business days to respond from date and time of receipt. Date stamping requests is critical.
      • Compliance with destruction of documents helps. Example: A request can be made for 10 years’ worth of documents, and we would have to comply if we have them. But State records retention laws only require that we hold records for a prescribed number of years.
      • If we wish to withhold documents, we must be very specific why and cite the code section under which the denial is being requested. Some exemptions include: personnel records, medical records, documents marked with attorney client privilege (never forward a message with this information, or the privilege is lost), land appraisals prior to purchase, closed sessions of City Council meetings, tax records – to name a few. If in doubt, ask the CAO.
      • Administrative Directive 8.01 discusses City employees requirement to comply
        • Identifies one person per department to coordinate FOIA requests – for us, it’s Brande
        • Photo copy or scans are charged at $.03 per page
        • Staff time to copy records is billed at the lowest wage of the qualified staff person
        • Requestors are made to pay for time to locate and duplicate. Deposit must be paid if estimate is over $200 per request.
        • FOIA office can often deter requests based on dollar estimate to locate and copy information. Often refining the scope of a request helps.
        • Requesters can review volumes of documents if they wish to narrow the scope
        • Employees can be held civilly liable if they knowingly withhold information
      • Last Meeting – Deputy City Manager Cindy Curtis
      • Interim DCM, Human Resources Director Regina Hilliard