President and CEO of Visit KC announces resignation - KCTV5 News

President and CEO of Visit KC announces resignation

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The president and CEO of Visit KC has announced that he will be resigning on Jan. 31.

In a statement, Ronnie Burt said: “It is with mixed emotions that I submit my resignation as your President and CEO. 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.”

Burt was the president and CEO since 2014. The name “Visit KC” was adopted while he was in that position.

Board Chair CiCi Rojas said, “Ronnie has set Kansas City and Visit KC on a path to success for years to come. 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.”

Visit KC said that an interim president and CEO will be selected until they can find a permanent replacement.

This comes after a harassment lawsuit was filed in August of 2017. 

In that lawsuit, Janette Barron said that she was "subjected to unlawful retaliation," claimed "wrongful termination," and sought "compensatory damages" against Burt, Visit KC, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City. 

She was an employee from Feb. 21, 1996 until she was fired in March of 2017, according to the petition for damages. 

She was a human resources manager and got complaints from multiple employees who said Burt harassed, bullied, and retaliated against female employees. 

She had an obligation, due to her job, to investigate the complaints. She contacted the board chairman about this and requested an investigation in Oct. 2016. In Feb. of 2017, she told him about other complaints about Burt.

In Feb. of 2017, Burt told her he knew "what she had done and who she had spoken to about it," according to the court document. He met with her a few days later and told her that an HR/payroll assessment was scheduled for Feb. 13 and 14 of 2017. 

After that, she was put on administrative leave for two weeks and, on March 14, 2017, she was told that she was no longer an employee.

The petition for damages said, "Based on information and belief, the true reason for Plaintiff's termination was unlawful retaliation for reporting employee complaints of Defendant Burt and requesting an investigation into the employee claims that would fall under a protected category during the scope and course of her employement with Defendents as Human Resources Manager."

This case was settled on Sunday.

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