In the short few months since the Durham Sports Commission’s inception, its board, creators and supporters picked up the ball and ran with it.
The nonprofit board of directors formed in the June 2016, approved bylaws in October, hired an executive director in December and approved a logo in January.
“We’re not just about bringing in sports and events,” said Shelly Green, president and chief executive officer of Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau during a joint city-county commission meeting Tuesday.
Summarizing the commission’s mission statement, Green said it’s about balancing a social impact and involvement from residents and youth, while attracting and supporting different events and maximizing Dunham's sports facilities.
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The commission is partnered with the city of Durham and Durham County, DCVB and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.
All three entities each appointed three members to make up the commission’s nine member board, which first met in August.
Board members are: Chairman Omar Beasley, Vice Chairman George Habel, Secretary/Treasurer Terrence Holt, Dan Hill, Tommy Hunt, Chris Kennedy, Ingrid Wicker-McCree, Dwight Perry and Desmond Scott,
In August, the board approved its mission statement and created a job description for an executive director, Beasley said.
In October, bylaws were approved, and the commission issued a statement against House Bill 2.
Since then a logo was approved and Ashleigh Bachert was hired as an executive director.
Originally hailing from Durham, where she played softball and volleyball in high school, Bachert played softball at the University of Connecticut, attended graduate school at Southern Mississippi, and worked for the University of Louisville and Indiana University before her last stop with Jacksonville, N.C’s sports commission.
“I am so excited about elevating sports and giving young people and adults the opportunity,” Bachert told officials Tuesday. “I’m very proud of the sports heritage that’s already hear, but really capitalizing on that.”
One way is the board’s logo selection that was created with the help of DCBV’s marketing, team, she said.
Revealing it to commissioners and city council members -- the logo bears a shield with North Carolina Central University’s colors on one side, Duke University’s on the other, a bull that gives a nod to the Bull City in the center and stars from the city’s emblem in the middle of the bull.
“There are a lot of people that are jealous of it already … it’s a very strong statement and it’s very much Durham,” Bachert said.
The next steps for the commission, Beasley said is working with a grants and incentives committee, selecting an advisory committee and a facility research study.
“We want to make sure that we get the right fit for Durham,” he said.
Also on the horizon, Bachert said, is creating a database of sports events -- providing local residents an opportunity to play -- and developing a strategic plan.
“I am a huge proponent that it is a playbook,” she said.
Bachert said the commission is attending a National Association of Sports Commissions conference in Sacramento at the end of the month, and in the works is 30 appointments with sports groups -- from USA fencing to USA curling.
“We’re excited to expose them to what Durham can offer,” she said.