Our Mission

To promote the sports industry image in central Virginia; to engage public and private resources to foster economic development through sports; to build an understanding in the community of the importance of sports and the impact on quality of life; to recruit and create sports events through creative partnerships that have a positive impact on the community; and to do so with world class service while meeting all industry professional standards

Our Vision

To be recognized by our partners, business and community leaders, and event clients as a premiere organization in Central Virginia that drives sports tourism, economic development, and community vitality through sports.

Our Team

Ernest Carter and Billy Russo
Central Virginia Sports Commission Board of Directors

Ernest Carter

Ernest Carter serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Virginia Sports Commission and as President of Central Virginia Sports Management LLC. Ernest founded Central Virginia Sports in March 2018 with Billy Russo whom he met at the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) conference in 2015. Ernest identified a need in the Central Virginia region for a sports marketing & management company. Carter is responsible for overseeing deliverables while tracking financials. His role is to build relationships and connect key stakeholders to benefit the mission & vision of CVS. Carter’s experience and professional network within the Lynchburg area and statewide is invaluable to the success of CVS. Carter will utilize these resources to help produce business opportunities and create new partnerships.

Carter is the former Athletic External Event Coordinator with Liberty University (LU) and has over 10 years of experience with events and customer service specifically in the Lynchburg area. Carter’s experience at Liberty included recruiting dozens of high level sporting events to the university while being an important part of the event staff. He served a key role in the successful recruitment of the Virginia Commonwealth Games to LU as well as the successful State Games of America bid which will be hosted in Lynchburg in summer 2019. Carter is working toward a Certified Sport Event Executive (CSEE) certification through NASC, which he is expected to complete in spring 2019. Carter has been a member of NASC since 2014. Carter has been an active member of the state-wide sports coalition, Sports Virginia, and has formed several key relationships statewide with partners in the sports tourism industry. Carter holds a M.A.R. Master’s Degree from Liberty University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Averett University, and an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC). Carter was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from PHCC, which is located in Martinsville, Virginia, Carter’s hometown. Ernest resides in Forest, VA with his wife Amber and their three sons Caleb, Micah, & Josiah.

Central Virginia Sports Commission Board of Directors

Billy Russo, CSEE

Billy Russo serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Virginia Sports Commission (CVSC) and as Vice-President of Central Virginia Sports Management LLC. Billy assisted Ernest Carter in starting Central Virginia Sports (CVS). Russo is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the business while developing & recruiting new business opportunities. Russo manages the marketing plan, goals, & the mission and vision of CVS. He is the main liaison for event services. Russo utilizes years of event management experience to develop and create world class sporting events. He assists with financial management and the overall direction of the business. Russo complements Carter in utilizing his own network of contacts and relationships in recruiting sporting events to the region.

Russo brings over 13 years of sports management, marketing and tourism experience to Central Virginia Sports. Russo is the former Director of Operations & Facilities of the DE Turf Sports Complex where he led the operational development, budget development, & event management of a world-class sports complex in Delaware that opened in 2017. Prior to his position at DE Turf, Russo served 9 years as the Executive Director & Director of Operations for the Smith River Sports Complex in Martinsville, VA. In Martinsville, Russo led the Smith River Sports Complex in financial management, event recruitment, and day-to-day management of all departments, staff, and events. In 2012 he was named young professional of the year by the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Russo holds a Certified Sports Event Executive Certification (CSEE) and has been a member of the National Association of Sports Commissions since 2008. From 2010-2016 Russo was an active member of the statewide sports tourism initiative Sports Virginia. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management and a Master’s Degree in Sport Studies from High Point University. Russo resides in Lynchburg with his wife Amanda and their son Carson.

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