An overwhelming force, which included 15 of the most powerful people along the Grand Strand, did a “no holds barred” attack on life-long Myrtle Beach resident, Karon Mitchell.
Said Carla Schuessler, MBACC Board President, “The legal action filed by Karon Mitchell against the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is a baseless, vindictive attack on the Chamber’s staff, board of directors, marketing council, and several member businesses, filled with unsubstantiated allegations.”
Schuessler added, “Mrs. Mitchell is a disgruntled former member of the Chamber who refused to pay a late charge levied by the Chamber’s Board of Directors and her membership was dropped. Subsequently, she failed in an attempt to create a competitor chamber of commerce. Make no mistake: the Chamber will vigorously defend itself against each false, incorrect and/or baseless allegation included in this action.”
Online residents noted that Schuessler’s language was angry, personal, and threatening.
Mrs. Mitchell quietly stood in the audience listening as this powerful group, one by one, approached the podium attacking her.
The Chamber made no attempts to explain why MBACC set up the four employee, “for profit”, related corporations that the “not for profit” pours millions of tax payer dollars into annually. These companies include: Visibility & Conversions, LLC, Right Analytics, LLC, Com-Connect, LLC, and Battle Strategies, LLC. All of these companies are paid TDF (tourist tax) dollars by MBACC. Visibility and Conversions and Com-Connect received from almost $1 million to $60 million in tax monies per a complaint filed by Mitchell’s attorney.
Few in the Myrtle Beach area have had the courage to take on this Chamber. The group, which is funded with over $32 million annually in taxes, has substantial sway in Myrtle Beach city government, Horry County government, practically every legislator in the state, and the entire S.C. judicial system as those judges are picked by legislators.
Mrs. Mitchell is clearly in a David Vs Goliath situation. MyrtleBeachSC.com’s owners have personally experienced how this group will drag out a court case for many years, running up substantial legal debt on a small business owner, keeping the case out of the courtroom, and forcing that company into failure. This while also ensuring the business owner has limited to no opportunities for work in the local market.
At the end of the press release, Ms. Schuessler emphatically told the press, “No Questions!“, meaning no questions could be asked of those board members presenting. Along with Ms. Schuessler, Matt Klugman, Marketing Director of VacationMyrtleBeach.com, made statements demeaning the complaint as well. He also did not explain why the Chamber set up the four employee-related firms MBACC pays millions to annually.
As a follow up after the press release we did ask Ms. Schuessler and Mr. Klugman the below:
Carla and Matt,
- We understand that former employees have now founded their own for profit businesses and the MBACC felt they were the best fit. With the exception of Mr. Jim Wright, who moved to Florida, why wouldn’t MBACC simply keep the employees inside the company? Wouldn’t that have saved all mark ups?
- I am confident that MBACC vetted each business and each business partnerships thoroughly. As such, can you please tell our team who Bill Rosenthal’s partners in Visibility and Conversions are?
- What is the Mark Up on items purchased for MBACC by Visibility and Conversions?
- What cost per lead is MBACC paying Visions and Conversions for each lead they bring you?
- What is the conversion rate on each of these leads?
- How much is the overall average cost per lead MBACC pays for a lead over the past 8 years?
Neither chose to respond to our questions.