John Collins “J.C.” Poma didn’t need a tutorial to learn the lay of the land at Richmond Region Tourism, where he is the new sports development manager. A native of Virginia’s capital, Poma was a two-sport athlete at University of Virginia, where he played football and baseball. He talked about how his background equips him to forge new connections for the Richmond region within the sports tourism industry.
How will your background inform what you do in this position?
My job here is very much relationship-driven. I found that the relationships I developed previously, both as a college athlete and professionally, provided me with immediate direction when I walked in the door here at Richmond Region Tourism. In college, I formed bonds with teammates, coaches, administrators, etc. These relationships are special to me on a personal level, but it’s exciting to reconnect with many of these contacts on a professional level.
How did you end up back in Richmond?
After graduating from Georgetown University’s sports management program, I immediately entered the sports industry in Northern Virginia. I grew up in Richmond and am passionate about this destination, so it was always a goal to come back. I returned home to work at a wonderful local nonprofit called The Doorways, a 112-room hotel that provides lodging for patients and their loved ones in serious medical crises. I never thought the relationships I built with hotels that support The Doorways’ mission would be such a valuable resource for me in a different role. The hotel partners in our region are tremendous ambassadors for our office in retaining existing events and attracting new ones, and I’m happy to work with them.