Cannon calls on CVB to split from Chamber

From left: Lisa Riddle, Phil Cannon, Catherine Glover

From left: Lisa Riddle, Phil Cannon, Catherine Glover

ALBANY — An organizer of one the city’s largest events is calling for the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau to split from its parent organization, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, in the wake of the removal of the CVB’s director on Sept. 8.

Phil Cannon, one of the original organizers of Albany’s Mardis Gras weekend, released an email statement late Sunday that was critical of the firing of Lisa Riddle and pushed for independence for the CVB. Cannon is a member of the boards of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority and the Downtown Merchants Association. Cannon also served previously as the chair of the CVB Advisory Council for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.

Click here to read the e-mail.

No reason has been given for Riddle’s termination Sept. 8 by Chamber President Catherine Glover.

In his email, Cannon said that the official reason was because Riddle discussed Glover’s salary privately with a fellow employee. Cannon contends Riddle’s termination came because the heads

of the chamber don’t want the public knowing a portion of their salaries come from tax proceeds.

“The true motivation is: the Chamber does not want the public to know HOW the salary of Mrs. Glover is paid. The Chamber had to manipulate the rules to pay Catherine Glover the salary she demanded as a condition to have her move to Albany Ga.” Cannon said. “This excessive salary demand was not within the Chamber’s budget. The Chamber created a position to put Mrs. Glover in charge of the CVB and split her salary between the Chamber and CVB. The public needs to know the portion of Mrs. Glover’s salary that comes from the CVB is paid with public dollars. “

Cannon goes on to say that Riddle was vital to the success of the Mardis Gras weekend, which typically attracts roughly 25,000-50,000 people each year to downtown.

Glover, who as president of the chamber also assumes the role of president of the CVB, could not be reached for comment late Sunday evening when the e-mail was sent out. Cannon also couldn't be reached for additional comment.

Since Riddle's dismissal, Glover has stepped into Riddle's role and has said there are no immediate plans to fill the position.

In an e-mail to the Albany Herald following Riddle's dismissal, Glover says that her involvement with the CVB has been "substantial."

"Lisa's last day with the CVB was September 8. We have not decided whether or not we will replace the position as it is stands, but will take all the time necessary to revisit the duties associated with the position, and will work internally to realign and reassign as best fits the mission of the organization," Glover said. "It's important to note that my role with the Chamber/CVB has been and will continue to be as President/CEO of both organizations. When I was hired three years ago, I was hired due to my extensive Chamber, CVB and statewide tourism experience."

"My involvement with the CVB has been substantial, and will continue to be. We have a very strong team in place, and will continue to meet and exceed expectations as our visitors, trade organizations and business conferences continue to enjoy all that Albany has to offer," Glover said at the time.


Gabrielblows 4 years, 2 months ago

Knowing both of these individuals for a long time, I know them to have integrity and love the City of Albany. It seems to me the easiest solution to this problem is for the Chamber board to "release" Ms. Glover from hewr position and restore things as they were. However, that still doesn't solve the problem of the CVB being "part of" the Chamber of Commerce. Phil's recommendation seems to be the most logical solution. Any which way it goes, Lisa Riddle should get her job back. The Chamber and Ms. Glover should simply do the right thing.


sue 4 years, 2 months ago

Phil is absolute spot on! Lisa has been an energetic co-operative person who has worked hard for this community and has actually improved this community. Catherine has been here three years and not made a name for herself, so she stole a high profile job. she cannot do even half the job Lisa did.

Catherine Glover has demonstrated to the community that she is not to be trusted and that she is out for herself and only herself. While businesses and organizations may have to work with her, they will never have the trust and faith in Catherine that they had in Lisa and the team LISA built.


Insider00 4 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps Mrs. Glover felt intimidated by Lisa Riddle's talent and popularity? In the three years that Catherine has been here, I've seen no community or economic growth. The working man sees Catherine Glover as "Salary first, community last." I think three years is MORE than enough time to make your mark in a community and it's time she move on to a community that doesn't have to sneak into the pockets of its citizens to pay her bloated salary.


outraged 4 years, 2 months ago

AMEN!!! Catherine has seen Lisa as a THREAT since she got here. Lisa is a genuine REAL person.....Catherine is a snake and the people in the city of Albany know that!


LuLu 4 years, 2 months ago

Ask her about her son. She loves to talk about him.


KaosinAlbany 4 years, 2 months ago

Albany seems to only attract the "snakes".


Cartman 4 years, 2 months ago

More drama from the folks spending taxpayer money on downtown Albany. Why am I not surprised?


icnow 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm guessing now we know why Mrs.Glover has "20 years tourism experience"..I'm not sure,but I bet they are not all in one place.If she was so great with her job then why move away from it?Could it be "someone" stepped on some toes there also?Now its time to add Albany to her list and let Mrs.Glover move on...out of town that is.


mc 4 years, 2 months ago

As a concerned tax payer I would like to know how someone can be fired for discussing something that should be public record. If there are not any other reprimands for Mrs. Riddle then hasn’t Mrs. Glover opened the city up to a lawsuit? I’m not sure what official policy is but most city and state agencies have protocol before dismissing someone on a whim.


JusticeforAll 4 years, 2 months ago

This is not the first person Catherine has lied on and deceived the public trust by misrepresenting the facts regarding. I happen to know of another Chamber employee who's position was mysteriously "phased out" after she gave countless time and energy to build the Strive2Thrive program. Her's was the face and name that was seen the most, when the project first started. She was also the initial founder of the "Hispanic Festival" with the goal of it becoming an "International Festival". She worked tirelessly on many community initiatives and represented the Chamber in many ways. Catherine was threatened by this person's Community connections and her strong personality, just like in Lisa's case, AND just like in Lisa's case, this person was eliminated from the scene having never had a write-up and having always put her community first. Is Albany going to let Glover get away with this behavior, AGAIN???


Quantraveious 4 years, 2 months ago

If the public actually knew how excessive Glover various salaries are, there would be torches and pitchforks. Head of the local chamber is a $35,000 a year job- TOPS! Even at that salary, Glover would be overpaid based on her terrible lack of results.


grigg3 4 years, 2 months ago

As a former Chamber President, it is true that most salaries are paid from city and county taxes, as well as motel/hotel taxes. For the Chamber Exec to use income earned from any other source is ridiculous. These are tough times, while employees all over the state of Georgia are losing jobs, hours, and income, we have an individual that is earning top dollar in a totally unproductive city and county, with the exception of gangs and crime mixed with the highest unemployment in the state, there is no reason for Atlanta salaries in Albany Georgia. As for Lisa, I have known her since she was 5 years old. She is an Albanian, and should be treated and respected for her integrity, love and concern for the city of Albany,and all whom she serves. Board of Directors, you need to take another look at the bigger picture here. Your Chamber President will eventually move on, Lisa won't. She will be here to serve her community in any way she can. Don't cut a fat hog for once, and do the right thing!


rrss 4 years, 2 months ago

Seems to me the main factor here is Catherine Glover. She was threatened by all the hard work and dedication Lisa Riddle had to her job and Albany. I agree with everyone who has commented on so many levels. Something needs to be done! Seperation of the CVB or seperation of Glover! Lisa Riddle deserves her job back and seems everyone sees that. Stand up and do the right thing.


firefly 4 years, 2 months ago

Like the rest of the nation we keep outsourcing these jobs when we have capable people right here in our community not only willing, but more than capable of getting the job done! I'm not sure where Ms. Glover is from, but she doesn't belong here.


outraged 4 years, 2 months ago

You are CORRECT! She is jealous of what Lisa and Liz have done and wants all of the credit to add to her resume'! Her salary is not only CRAZY, but she has no education to back it up!


LWood 4 years, 2 months ago

Lisa Riddle seamlessly took over the responsibilities as the CVB Director after the loss of the much respected Sara Underdown. She is an incredible 'face' for Albany and is extremely well respected in the tourism industry statewide having held several positions on different boards promoting not only Albany, but the entire state.

She is energetic, a hometown-girl-made-good, educated, respected and smart! She has done nothing to deserve being fired and if justice were truly served, she should be reinstated and the undereducated and overpaid Chamber president would be fired!

Ms. Glover does not have a college degree. Lisa Riddle has almost completed her masters.

Ms. Glover is not well respected in the tourism industry, Lisa is.

Ms. Glover is not a native Albanian or even a native Georgian, Lisa is both.

Ms. Glover acted inappropriately at the GACVB Conference in 2010 and a letter was sent to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors by the GACVB Director. That letter has mysteriously disappeared apparently. Lisa has always conducted herself professionally and appropriately always.

Ms. Glover has no working relationship with any of the employees at the CVB whereas the 'team' was put in place without her 'extensive background in tourism'.

Ms. Glover was making over twice what Lisa was and we now know where part of that money came from.

In this economy, a new Chamber of Commerce President can be found for far less than Ms. Glover is being paid and one that is not only better educated, better qualified, but less contentious.

It makes sense to separate the CVB from the Chamber, replace Lisa Riddle at the CVB and can Ms. Glover who is not worth her salary if she doesn't know the rules about public record.


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