Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2010

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MONICA R. SMITH ASSUMES NEW ROLE AS MACON, GA, CVB PRESIDENT & CEO MonicaR. Smith,CMP,CASE,CDME has assumed her new role as president&CEO of theMacon-Bibb County Convention andVisitors Bureau in central Georgia. “In my first three months, I’ll be evaluating the marketing, sales, and operations of the bureau to identify ways tomaximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our efforts in pro- moting Macon and its cultural and geographical assets,” said Smith at an introductory news conference. “My primary focus is to build even more awareness of this wonderful southern destination among group and leisure travelers and to increase convention, tradeshow and meeting business to further strengthen Macon’s position as an excellent meetings destination.” Smith most recently served as the director of sales and client services for the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau in Pasadena, CA, overseeing the day-to-day operations in the absence of an exec- utive director. She also has served as vice president of sales for the Newport Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau and as an account executive with the CVB of Greater Cleveland. A graduate of Cornell University, she is a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), Hospitality Sales & Marketing, Association International (HSMAI), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), Financial & Insurance Planners Association (FIPA), and Christian Meetings & Conventions Association (CMCA). The Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the non-profit destination marketing organization of Macon and Bibb County, Georgia. Funded by hotel-motel sales tax collected from visitors staying in local properties, the CVB was created in 1980 exclusively to market Macon and Bibb County regionally, domestically and internationally, to both groups and individuals, in order to enhance the economy and increase employment. Smith can be reached at (800) 768-3401. DESTINATION DC SELECTS RONNIE BURT TO LEAD CONVENTION SALES & SERVICES EFFORTS Destination DC announced recently that CVB veteran Ronnie Burt has joined the organization as its new vice president of convention sales and services.Aseasoned hospi- tality and meetings industry executive, Burt previously served as senior vice president of sales and service for the Indianapolis Convention &VisitorsAssociation. In his new role, Burt leadsDestinationDC’s efforts to generate economic development for theDistrict by securing meetings and conventions. “Ronnie Burt brings an impressive mix of sales experience, strong industry contacts and solid ties to theDC region,” said Elliott Ferguson,president&CEO,DestinationDC. Ferguson held the organization’s top sales position for eight years before becoming its president and CEO last July. Burt’s appointment to the DC post also marks his return to the mid-Atlantic region. Prior to taking on his position in Indianapolis, he headed up the convention sales efforts for the Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association from 2005 through 2008 and served as BACVA’s interim president in 2006. “I am excited to lead DestinationDC’s sales teamand look forward toworkingwith the leadership and stakeholders,”saidBurt. “This is a destination I know very well,where I have an extensive network of family and friends.Plus,many of the key customers I’ve built relationships with during my career are going to be located right in my own backyard.” Destination DC will also benefit from Burt’s extensive resume as the city prepares to break ground on the long-awaited Marriott Marquis, adjacent to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Burt’s tenure in Baltimore coincided with the pre-opening of its convention center headquarters hotel, the Hilton Baltimore. In his previous position in Indianapolis,Burt had been tasked with pre-selling the JWMarriott,which is now under construction. Burt boasts an impressive career in hospitality sales and marketing, previous positions at the Atlantic City Convention andVisitorsAuthority,CaesarsHotel and Casino inAtlantic City and StarwoodHotels andResorts inAtlanta. Burt can be contacted at (800) 635-6338 6 Black Meetings & Tourism September/October 2010: NEWSMAKERS

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