Consultant terminates tri-centennial contract

The Associated PressJuly 17, 2014 

— A consultant hired to raise money for Natchez's 300th birthday celebration has quit.

Jennifer Barbee and her Texas-based team were hired in May 2013 to help fundraise and find corporate sponsors for the city's tri-centennial celebration.

Interim Convention and Visitor Director Creda Stewart tells The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/1oZI84B ) that Barbee exercised an option in her contract that allowed her to terminate her services.

Barbee provided initial fundraising projections, suggesting $1.7 million could be raised by Dec. 31. 2013, and more than $4 million by the end of 2014. Her total fundraising goal was between $5 million and $10 million.

Barbee said in May she had raised far less, approximately $200,000 to $250,000 and secured two corporate sponsors.

"We're currently reviewing our options to see what exactly we'll do, but we have to keep moving along," Stewart said. "We've been delayed tons by a lot of this, so what we're trying to do is just move forward."

The CVB had paid Barbee about $244,000 in May for all of her company's services. Those charges included an $180,000 fee for the tricentennial project and another $64,000 for revamping the CVB's website — visitnatchez.org — and creating a weddings microsite and Barbee's travel reimbursement. A microsite is an individual web page that is part of a larger website.

Stewart said Barbee's website work was complete and the only termination of services dealt with the tricentennial.

Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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