Marketing guru took over in wake of scandal
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Tim Hamby, the executive director of the Southeast Volusia Advertising, hired last year in the wake of the Nicole Carni scandal, officially tendered his resignation this morning in favor of a new marketing job much closer to his Ponte Vedra home that will pay him in excess of six figures in salary and benefits.
"It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," said the 49-year-old Hamby, in a telephone interview with Headline Surfer while he was en route to the New Smyrna Beach Visitor's Center where the ad authority is based.
"There were a lot of factors to consider, including my wife and my daughters and moving and the salary and benefits were something the ad authority would not have been able to match," Hamby explained.
He first notified newly elevated SVAA Chairman Palmer Wilson late Monday of his impending resignation, out of respect for his position.
"I know he told me he's soul-searched this over the past couple of weeks when he first got the offer and he was even in the process of looking for a home here," Wilson said this morning. "I'm sorry to see him leave because he's made a dramatic contribution to the ad authority with his marketing experience and innovative program ideas."
Hamby, a marketing specialist from Ponte Vedra, accepted the director's job in October, just one day after the SVAA board met in a special meeting and directed Kosmas to offer him the same package turned down by No. 1 candidate Michelle Coats a week ago today.
Coats, a lifelong New Smyrna Beach resident, was initially offered a $65,000 salary and an $8,000 benefits package, but turned it down. The board added $5,000 to the pot, but she again declined, saying she wanted at least the mid-range salary of $80,000 and health benefits comparable to the $15,000 she receives from Volusia County as a 30-hour employee with a $53,000 annual salary.
Headline Surfer snapshot graphic / At left is an unsigned copy of the letter Tim Hamby tendered to the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority announcing his resignation.
Coats had been part of a county transition team that took over the daily operations of the SVAA and its visitor's center back in January 2012, when County Manager Jim Dinneen received unanimous approval from the County Council to immediately seize the assets of the authority in the wake of a scandal involving the salary of the previous director, Nicole Carni, who was fired by the board.
The SVAA receives more than $1 million from taxes collected from overnight hotel and condo accommodation visits to promote tourism in greater New Smyrna Beach, the southern portion of Port Orange, Edgewater, Oak Hill and parts of unincorporated Volusia County, including Osteen.
Hamby's last day on the job here is May 17. He declined to name his new employer or the position he was hired to fill, except to say it' a large public company in greater Jacksonville and it's a director's-level position dealing in marketing.
It's also a mere 10 miles from his Ponte Vedra home while his commute to New Smyrna Beach is 100 miles.