Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner presents longtime Upshur Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Laura Meadows with the key to the City of Buckhannon at Thursday's city council meeting. / Photos by Katie Kuba

Outgoing Upshur CVB director recognized with Buckhannon’s highest honor: a key to the city

BUCKHANNON – The person who played a key role in marketing Buckhannon and Upshur County to visitors from surrounding areas over the past 12 years received her very own keepsake key to the City of Buckhannon Thursday.

Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner presented outgoing Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Laura Meadows with the city’s highest honor – a key to the city at Buckhannon City Council’s regular meeting Thursday, April 6.

“You were the first director of the new CVB, and as a token of our sincere appreciation for you and all that you have done — it is truly the end of an era – we wanted to recognize you,” Skinner said. “When I heard you were going to be the new CVB director, I was fresh out of college, and I said, ‘who in the world is Laura Meadows?’”

Skinner said he realized Meadows was married to one of his classmates, Johnny Meadows, but he’s since gotten to know her in her own right.

“What I’ve come to learn over the past 11 to 12 years is you are fiercely professional, you are a tremendous leader, and you have put Upshur County on the map,” Skinner said. “You have worked for organizations such as the Strawberry Festival, Create Buckhannon, the Chamber of Commerce, the Development Authority and here at the City of Buckhannon.”

Skinner noted Meadows had also received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award from her alma mater, Fairmont State University.

“We wanted to ask you to come tonight for us to show our appreciation for everything that you have done,” the mayor said. “We will miss you. Although we know we will see you, we will miss you at the office; we will miss your upbeat attitude.”

“You never once came to work without a smile on your face, and I think we all would agree that to serve in a role as you have, to promote a community of any kind, to be upbeat and positive and always looking for a way to help us shine is critically important,” Skinner added. “So, on behalf of the city and our council members and everyone who works in our organization, we want to present you with the city’s highest honor, an official key to the City of Buckhannon as a keepsake for everything that you’ve done.”

Meadows thanked council members for the honor and joked with her young sons that she could take them to Dairy Queen whenever they wanted.

“That’s awesome,” she said, smiling. “Thank you.”

Earlier this year, Meadows announced that after nearly 12 years of serving as executive director of the tourism agency, she would be resigning to pursue a different path effective March 31. The Upshur CVB Board on Friday officially announced that local business owner and community volunteer Lacy Ramsey has accepted the executive director position on an interim basis initially and the board and Ramsey would reassess after 120 days.

Meadows receives her very own key to the city.
Meadows and her husband, Johnny Meadows, along with their sons Harlen and Harrison, pose for a family photo.
Meadow’s mother Jeanne Bennett, at right, and mother-in-law, Lori Dado-Meadows, join Meadows and her family.

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