Friday, March 11, 2011

Mayor Jones Announces Luck Stone Corporation As Presenting Sponsor of XTERRA East Championship

This morning Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced that Luck Stone Corporation has signed on as the presenting sponsor for this year’s XTERRA East Championship June 11-12 in Richmond, VA. Amid concerns that the XTERRA East Championship might not take place in Richmond this year without a local sponsor, Luck Stone saw an opportunity to partner with the City of Richmond to bring world-class athletes to Richmond and bring world-class athletes out of Richmonders. Luck Stone’s sponsorship of XTERRA is just the beginning of a long-term partnership with the City of Richmond and support for the local community.

Mayor Jones stated, “We are pleased that the XTERRA East Championship will again take place in Richmond, Virginia, and we are grateful to Luck Stone for making this possible. The City has shown great support for this event with the maintenance of our trails and logistical support. Now that we have a sponsor to provide XTERRA with the financial support, we finally have all the elements in place to keep this important event here."

“Today we mark another milestone in our efforts to support our city and to positively impact the lives of the people within the community where our company began. It is our hope that this will be the first step in connecting with a new generation of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, while reaffirming our commitment to the environment and the Greater Richmond community. We know that keeping XTERRA in Richmond is important to the Mayor, City Council and downtown businesses. We’re proud to be the presenting sponsor of XTERRA which plays such a vital role in the local economy.” added Bob Grauer, Senior Vice President of Luck Stone. This will be the 13th year for XTERRA in Richmond.

The River City is widely regarded as the sport’s finest urban adventure venue. Both the off-road triathlon and trail running events feature a unique combination of natural and man-made obstacles as well as the best metropolitan trail system in the country. Indeed, the epic ride through the James River Parks System lures athletes from more than 30 states and pros from around the world to Richmond each year. Events include the XTERRA Fugitive 10k trail run, the XTERRA Richmond half-marathon trail run, free kids races, free clinics taught by pro athletes, the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-Thon to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and two off-road triathlons, a half-distance XTERRA Sport race (perfect for newcomers) and the XTERRA East Championship.

“We can’t thank Mayor Jones, Councilman Conner, the local community and Luck Stone enough for answering our call for help,” said Dave Nicholas, the managing director of XTERRA. “Over the last 12 years thousands of athletes have experienced Richmond in a very unique way and walked away with great stories to tell about their adventures. With Luck Stone’s support we can provide that opportunity to thousands more in the coming years and continue to perpetuate Richmond’s reputation as being a remarkable city with top notch trails."

The championship, featuring a $10,500 pro purse, is comprised of three disciplines; a 1k swim across the James River followed by a 30k mountain bike trek that traverses both the South and North Bank sections of the first-rate James River Park trails, and a 10k run that leads competitors across the Floodwall, Canal Walk, James River Park, Belle Isle, and back to the finish line on Brown’s Island. With an estimated 1,500 athletes pushing themselves to the very limit of human potential in the different events, the emotions and expressions are inspiring and bring out the best in this community. The entire course is open to the public so there are literally thousands of places to watch from, but the best spot is Brown’s Island, site of the start, finish, and transition areas as well as the XTERRA Expo excitement.

"This event helps us show off all that Richmond has to offer. Our city is perfect for this kind of tourist attraction and there is significant local involvement in the event as well," said Mayor Jones. The overall economic impact for the event is estimated at just over $1 million.
Councilman Doug Conner on Luck Stone’s participation remarked, “When it became apparent that the budget would prevent the city from participating financially in this year’s XTERRA, we began looking for a company willing to agree to a multiyear sponsorship. If we could not locate funding for future years, this event would surely have moved to Charlotte. I would like to thank Luck Stone for their long-term commitment to the XTERRA event that will allow us to keep Richmond in the nation’s sports spotlight.”

About Luck Stone Corporation
Luck Stone is one of the few remaining privately held, family-owned and operated mid-size companies in our region and in surface mining industry. Commenting on the uniqueness of Luck Stone, Grauer proudly stated, “We are a values-based company whose mission is to make a positive impact on the lives of others.” Over the past eight decades Luck Stone has grown into an organization of 800 associates who support four distinct businesses with a reach into global markets.

“Our primary business of providing crushed stone products began humbly as a single quarry just up the river from here,” Grauer commented. Luck Stone started in 1923 with their first quarry in Richmond called Sunny Side Granite, not far from the locks of the canal on the James River. Luck Stone now has 17 quarries in two states (www.luckstone.com), architectural stone studios across three states in the mid-Atlantic (www.charlesluck.com), a tennis court product manufacturing facility serving an international customer base (www.leetennis.com), and a land development company that is focused on developing sustainable communities (www.lucklegacy.com).

Luck Stone shares a common goal with the City of Richmond to foster environmental stewardship and to encourage healthy outdoor activity. As a natural resources company, Luck Stone has supported many initiatives over the years to preserve open space, and manufacture products used throughout the Commonwealth on public trails and in parks. “We see our sponsorship as a means to increasing environmental awareness in our hometown, where our urban park system is one of the best downtown outdoor recreational facilities in the nation,” said Grauer.

Recently Luck Stone acquired its South Richmond quarry at Deepwater Terminal which is their first operation in the City since the closing of Sunny Side Granite. Grauer concluded by adding, “While we have always played a major philanthropic role in supporting Richmond organizations, we once again have a physical presence in the City of Richmond and are excited to be a part of the downtown community.”

"We are looking forward to our continuing partnership with Luck Stone," said Mayor Jones. "Having a corporate partner that is attentive to environmental stewardship and that supports active lifestyles lines up nicely with the city's efforts towards a more sustainable and healthy city."

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2011 will produce nearly 200 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 15 countries worldwide. There are 40,000+ competitors from all 50 states and more than 40 countries competing in XTERRA. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraRichmond.com.


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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mayor Jones Establishes Tourism Commission

Mayor's Order #2011-1

WHEREAS by the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Richmond I do hereby create the Tourism Commission; and

WHEREAS under this authority, the Tourism Commission is hereby established to give my Administration advice on ways to improve and capitalize on the varied tourist opportunities that abound in the City of Richmond; and

WHEREAS the City has a wealth of tourist destinations, including our many unique cultural and historic attractions, indoor and outdoor activities, professional sports venues and events, and world-class museums and art galleries; and

WHEREAS the City of Richmond seeks to support the businesses that support the tourism market, including hospitality services, restaurants, hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts; and

WHEREAS there is much that the City could do to enhance Richmond as a tourist destination through targeted marketing and other efforts; and

WHEREAS the Richmond region attracts 5.75 million visitors every year, representing a multi-million dollar industry, and tourism is a mainstay of this area's economy; and

WHEREAS Richmond is a city of national historic importance - the final resting place of two U.S. Presidents (in Hollywood Cemetery); once known as the "Harlem of the South" in the early 1900s; and more Revolutionary and Confederate history than any other city can claim; and

WHEREAS the City of Richmond seeks to promote its myriad of tourist attractions, as an enhancement to the work already being done by regional efforts, through the Richmond Regional Convention and Visitors' Bureau, and the state's tourism and film agencies; therefore,

I, Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, do hereby set forth to develop a Tourism Commission, and do hereby order that:

The Tourism Commission will review the state of the City as a tourist destination and make recommendations that will aid my Administration in the creation of a Richmond City Tourism Plan that will include a marketing plan, strategic vision, and other types of support to our numerous attractions.

In WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Richmond to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Richmond, this tenth day of March, two thousand and eleven.

Tourism Commission Members:
Alex Nygeres (Co-Chair), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Delores McQuinn (Co-Chair), Slave Trail Commission
Maureen Egan, Travel Writer
Kathy Graziano, Richmond City Council
Christy Coleman, Historic Tredegar
Jack Berry, Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
Rita McClenney, Virginia Film Office
Stacy Burrs, Black History Museum
Bill Martin, Valentine Museum
Rich Conti, Science Museum of Virginia
Richard Parrison, Richmond CenterStage
John Bryant, CultureWorks
Jack Berry, Venture Richmond
Tom Lisk, Hospitality Industry Lobbyist
Lester Johnson, Mama J's
Nancy Thomas, Richmond Retail Merchants Association
Carytown Merchants Association
Hull Street Merchants Association
Anne Leigh Kerr, Troutman Sanders
Tim Butturini, Wachovia
Dolly Vogt, SMG
John Lugbill, Sportsbackers
Doug Fritz, Richmond International Raceway
Kelly O'Keeffe, O'Keeffe Brands
Janine Bell, Elegba Folklore Society
Todd Parnell, Richmond Flying Squirrels
Waite Rawls, Museum of the Confederacy
Charlie Diradour, To the Bottom and Back Bus
Christina Newton, Broad Street Arts District
Matt Perry, White Water Rafting Company
Senator Donald McEachin
Jerry Williams
Richmond Childrens' Museum
National Theater

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

City Names Director of Public Utilities and Interim Director of Human Resources

Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall announced that Robert Steidel has been selected to serve as director of Public Utilities, effective Monday, March 07, 2011. Steidel had served as interim director for the department since Saturday, July 31, 2010, replacing Chris Beschler who had served as director of Public Utilities while serving as deputy chief administrative officer of Operations.

Steidel previously served as the deputy director for the Department of Public Utilities for more than seven years. Prior to beginning city service, he served as the environmental manager for the city of Hopewell’s Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility; industrial surveillance supervisor for the Rock River Water Reclamation District in Rockford, IL; environmental health sanitarian for Winnebago County Department of Public Health in Rockford, IL; and biologist for Winona State University, MN.

“Bob Stiedel has proven to be a valuable asset to the Department of Public Utilities and has provided excellent leadership in managing the stormwater utility,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “We look forward to his continued expertise in providing utility services to city and surrounding county residents, while protecting our region’s most treasured resource in the James River.”

Stiedel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Winona State University, MN and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In a separate matter, it was announced that Dr. Tyrone Jackson will be leaving his employment with the City of Richmond effective March 11, 2011. Dr. Jackson presently serves as the director of Human Resources and will be leaving his post to accept an appointment with the District of Columbia Courts where he will serve as deputy director of the Human Resources Division.

Dr. Jackson's service with the City of Richmond began in March of 2007. He is credited with having helped usher in the automated Richmond Online Staffing System (ROSS) as well as creating the current centralized Human Resource structure. He was a key member of the team responsible for negotiating the joint health care agreement for the City of Richmond with Richmond Public Schools and has served as the United Way Chairperson for city government over the last several years.

"Dr. Jackson will be missed, but we wish him well in his new place of employment," said Mayor Jones.

Joya Hayes, senior assistant to the CAO, will serve as interim director for Human Resources while a search is conducted for a replacement.

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