BATW Corporate Member Spotlight: Beth Javens

Organization

Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau; visitrichmondca.com

 Length of time in this position

I’m currently approaching my three-year anniversary as Executive Director of the RCVB. Altogether I have 20 years of destination marketing experience, and have formerly worked throughout California in Oxnard, Bakersfield and Fairfield. I have volunteered in Pacific Grove as well as Main Street and the historic communities of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and on behalf of the Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area. My moniker has been “Destination Dynamo”!

CVB area of coverage

The city of Richmond is 56 square miles, 33.7 land and 22.3 water. Richmond is home to 32 total miles of shoreline.

Tell us a little about Visit Richmond

RCVB is funded by a Tourism Marketing District and is one of 97 such marketing districts throughout California. The RCVB is a 501c(6) not-for-profit trade association formed in 2004 and funded by 11 lodging properties in the city. The RCVB engages in marketing activities that promote travel and visitation to the city of Richmond. Such visitor-related opportunities include lodging, shopping, dining, attractions, museums, historic preservation, recreation, festivals, events and meetings.

The RCVB collaborates with other organizations that offer opportunities for tourism and visitors, including the National Park Service, Craneway Pavilion at Ford Point, City of Richmond, East Bay Regional Park District, Richmond Art Center, Golden State Model Railroad Museum and various retail outlets and events throughout the city. The RCVB office is a “clearinghouse” for event awareness in the city, cultivating hundreds of leads for events of interest for visitors and residents.

#1 thing you want BATW members to know about Visit Richmond

Richmond’s historic and beautiful 32 miles of shoreline are reawakening to the present – linking its historically significant past to an abundance of recreational, cultural and leisure activities, such as hiking, biking, running, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, dining and most recently, wine tasting with weekend nights featuring live music.

What travel story do travel journalists overlook?

I think Richmond in general gets overlooked. And the reinvigoration of Richmond’s historic 32 miles of waterfront, in particular. The Richmond waterfront was once home, until Prohibition, to one of the largest wineries in the world; to a major facility for the Pullman Company and the Santa Fe Railyard; to the largest Ford Assembly plant in the Western United States; and to four Kaiser shipyards with the largest output of Victory ships during World War II. Today it is poised to establish ferry service in 2018 from the Historic Craneway Pavilion to San Francisco.

In addition, the Richmond Bay Trail has the most miles of trail connectivity of any city in the entire Bay Area, with ongoing work to help close the remaining gaps. Marina Bay is home to a number of unique businesses (such as the emerging “Clay Belt,” which features a number of craft- and artisan-related warehouses and outlets, as well as a creative office and employee retail store of Mountain Hardwear in the historic Ford Building) that are an integral and thriving part of Richmond’s lifestyle and culture.

What do you like best about your job?

When this organization was formed, Richmond didn’t yet have a Craneway Pavilion, National Park or Red Oak Victory Ship. Also, watching people delight in the discovery of Richmond’s unique historical contributions and its extraordinary access to open space, wildlife diversity and awesome waterfront views.

 Your favorite travel destination

Ventura (I’m allergic to everything but sand and water), Pacific Grove along Ocean Avenue to Asilomar Beach. I enjoy Southern destinations: Alabama’s backroads, particularly Selma, Alabama, and the architecture and churches, many of which are in severe disrepair. One of my favorite trips was the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington … lighthouses, the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail, a rugged Pacific. Incredible views!

Why did you join BATW?

The only way to market a travel destination is to meet travel writers. It’s all about building relationships, one person, one writer at a time. Bay Area Travel Writers is the premier group for hospitality writers in Northern California. It was an easy, obvious choice!