Ronnie Burt, president and CEO of Visit KC -- the official destination marketing organization of Kansas City, MO -- has announced his resignation after nearly four years at the organization's helm, Visit KC announced.
According to the Kansas City Star
, Burt, who joined Visit KC in May 2014, was named last month in a lawsuit filed by former Visit KC employee Janette Barron, who accused him of terminating her from her role as HR manager after she tried to open an investigation into claims of alleged harassment and bullying by him toward female employees. The lawsuit was settled this week. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
"It is with mixed emotions that I submit my resignation as your president and CEO," Burt said in a statement to Visit KC's board of directors. "I have made the decision that now is the best time for me to move on and consider other opportunities. I am proud of the achievements made since 2014 with the support and hard work of the Visit KC team."
Prior to joining Visit KC, Burt was vice president of sales and services for Destination DC, Washington, DC's convention and visitors bureau. During his tenure in Kansas City, he has led many achievements at Visit KC, including the organization's name change to Visit KC from the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, re-opening the KC Film Office, and implementing a new government affairs strategy to enhance relationships with elected officials. Under his leadership, convention sales performance has exceeded goals every year from 2014 to 2017, hotel occupancy and rates reached 10-year highs, advertising ROI rose to its highest-ever level, and visitation reached a record 25.2 million in 2016.
"Ronnie has set Kansas City and Visit KC on a path to success for years to come," said Visit KC 2018 Board Chair CiCi Rojas. "Under Ronnie's leadership, Kansas City has experienced increased business and leisure tourism, and thus tax receipts, due to his focus on performance and accountability. I would like to thank him for his service and wish him the best in his future endeavors. On behalf of the board, we also want to thank all Visit KC employees for their hard work and dedication in realizing many achievements over the last few years."