The V.I. Tourism Department has renewed an annual $70,000 sales contract with Kmisha-Victoria Counts, daughter of V.I. Attorney General Denise George.
The contract first began on June 1, 2020, and The Daily News requested a copy of the full document in March. Government officials did not respond to the request at that time, and The Daily News requested it again.
On Wednesday, Property and Procurement Commissioner Anthony Thomas provided the complete contract, which pinpoints additional information beyond what had been available on the publicly accessible website.
Scope of contract
Addendum 1 lists the contract’s scope of services, and requires “a minimum of 72 interactions with retail or corporate travel agents and meeting & incentive planners per month.”
The contract also requires that Counts “educates travel professionals on the destination, promotions and programs,” creates a database of contacts for direct mail, and files monthly reports on “trends, competition best practices, and market overview information.”
Other requirements include developing relationships with hotel and airline sales representatives, and participating in trade shows.
According to the contract, Counts is expected to conduct sales activity throughout the United States. Key areas include, but not limited to virtually the mainland’s entire Eastern seaboard.
Counts is expected to travel to these states at least once per month on a rotating basis. Sales activity is to include, but not be limited to, sales calls, webinars, in-market events, and travel agent luncheons, dinners and receptions.”
Further, “expenses for pre-approved travel will be submitted with an invoice,” according to the contract.
Addendum 2 lists the terms of compensation package — a total of $70,000, including a retainer not to exceed $55,000, paid in monthly installments of $4,583.33. It also includes a travel allowance not to exceed $15,000.
Thomas also provided Counts’ resume, which shows she received a bachelor’s degree in music business management from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2009, and has operated “K-Victoria Music” business management company ever since.
She has also been working as a social media marketing contractor for various companies since 2014, and is a freelance TV host.
“I am a proud Virgin Islander, goal oriented professional, and college graduate currently residing in Los Angeles, California,” Counts wrote in her cover letter.
“Promoting the Virgin Islands has been my passion and experience for much of my life. For example, I represented the territory in the Caribbean Tourism Organization Youth Conference in Aruba as the USVI Junior Commissioner of Tourism, spent three weeks in China at the Miss World Pageant as ‘Miss American Virgin Islands,’ and co-produced and hosted Tempo Network’s Cross Caribbean Countdown featuring ‘My Life’ in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Counts ended her letter noting that “I believe I can truly bring a great clientele to the Virgin Islands tourism district.”
Thomas also provided a June 2, 2020, request from Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte for a waiver for insurance and worker’s compensation “for three individuals who we would like to add to the department’s off-shore sales team — Shana C. Whyte d/b/a SCW Consulting Services, Kmisha-Victoria Counts and Vihke Lewis, all three individuals will be added to our work force as independent sales contractors.”
Boschulte wrote that “they will be working remotely promoting the Territory on the US mainland. The Department will oversee all of their sales activity, as they will report directly to the Director of Sales and their promotional tools will he created by our marketing team. They do not have any employees that work for them requiring Workers Compensation insurance. As such, no insurance is required for this professional services contract under these circumstances.”
Boschulte, according to the documents provided, also exercised a one-year renewal option for Counts’ contract in May, and said his agency maintains records on her work reports and travel receipts. Tourism officials, however, have ignored requests for such documents.
George defers to Tourism
When reached for comment in March, George said she had no sway in her daughter’s contract.
“The contract is a standard government tourism remote sales contract that is lawful and ethical in every regard. The contract is with Tourism and was negotiated with Tourism, not the DOJ,” George said in a statement at the time.
“I did not have any involvement or discussions at all in the negotiations of the contract with Tourism, as my daughter is an adult who manages her own business affairs. The contract was, as it should be, negotiated with Tourism, submitted from P&P to DOJ in the ordinary course as all other contracts for legal sufficiency review, with all supporting documents required for approval.”
On Wednesday, George’s spokeswoman Sandra Goomansingh said in an email that “the AG has no further comment on this matter” and referred questions to Tourism, but officials did not respond for comment as of The Daily News’ press time.