Drawing people to Harlingen: New CVB personnel expected to make impact

HARLINGEN — As the city moves closer to building a $14 million convention center, officials are focusing on filling jobs that have been vacant for more than a year at the Harlingen Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Officials are in the midst of finalizing an agreement with developer BC Lynd, which would build an upscale 150-room hotel while the city funds construction of the 43,000-square-foot convention center.

While BC Lynd would operate and maintain the convention center, the city’s CVB department would be charged with promoting and marketing the city to draw tourism.

For about two years, the position of CVB executive director remained vacant while officials interviewed three candidates for the job.

“We couldn’t find the right fit,” Serna said.

During that time, Assistant City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez, who oversees the department, has performed certain job duties.

But since February, Melissa Landin, who was hired as the city’s public information officer in January, has taken on the duties of CVB executive director.

Landin, who was hired as PIO at a salary of $47,500, boosted her salary to $61,500 when she took the CVB executive director’s job.

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