Bowman says he didn't push board for severance; agreement was mutual | News

Bowman says he didn't push board for severance; agreement was mutual



We published a story this morning about Reyn Bowman, the recently retired head of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. He was the first CEO and president of the organization and worked there 20 years.

Years ago, the board that governed his organization promised him one month's pay for every year he stayed in his job. With his recent retirement, the bureau and Tourism Development Authority owe him $275,000. See Bowman's contract and payout schedule >>

Meanwhile, the Bureau has faced some serious financial setbacks, and last year had to lay off five workers—three full-timers and two part-time job holders.

Late yesterday, after the story went to press, Bowman addressed a query that was not included in the story: when his contract was modified in 2004 to allow him to collect up to 19 months pay at the end of his tenure, who was the driving force behind it? Bowman answered in an e-mail before leaving town for a personal trip.

"I want to clarify that negotiating employment agreements aren't done with one or the other party having advantage over the other or playing hard ball. Those are bound to be short term relationships. Ours have always been based first on outstanding performance ... and mutual respect and understanding value and return on investment. So there wasn't any big ego or push and shove involved. Just two entities, management and [the] governance board, trying to make the best mutually beneficial agreement."

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