Black Meetings and Tourism

Nov/Dec 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 96

LARRY ALEXANDER, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) and a 30-year veteran of the hos- pitality and tourism industry, has shaped the Bureau into the leading o r g a n i z a t i o n responsible for facilitating tourism economic growth in Metro Detroit. A l e x a n d e r leads an innovative, multi-award winning convention sales, marketing and con- vention services effort that has often exceeded CVB industry standards for its performance. He oversees an annual budget of $12 million and 51 employ- ees. Following passage in 2009 of BY GLORIA M. HERBERT that time of year again for BM&T's annual review of the progress and success of those African-Americans who con- tinue to make significant strides in our industry. This is our opportunity to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and contributions of our brothers and sisters who have managed to perform at the highest pro- fessional levels despite the challenging economic times we have all faced in recent years. The sole new entry onto the list this year is Zita Stglich-Ross, director of sales for Visit Orlando. This long overdue recognition is well deserved, given Steglich-Ross' outstanding service at the bureau and her continued support of diversity efforts in her work. Sadly, we lost two industry giants since the last list was published; National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners founding member and chair- man Howard Mills, and Don H. Barden, chairman and CEO of Barden Companies, The Majestic Star and Fitzgerald Casinos and Hotels, and the Waycore Development Company. Both of these gentlemen brought class and dignity to our industry, and will be sorely missed. Putting together this list every year makes us, and I hope you, so very proud of those who we are recognizing. But as a result of the process involved it also becomes obvious that so much more needs to be done in the area of diversity and inclusion. As always, those listed here are to be commended for their achievements, their tenacity, and their determination to succeed in an industry that has been slow to embrace the concept of inclusiveness. Overcoming the challenges they've had to face in order to reach the top of their profession, they've earned the right to your respect, admiration and recognition. And most importantly, they deserve your consideration when it comes to booking busi- ness with them, for them or from them. 44 Michigan Public Act 554, which region- alized the management of Cobo Center under a public Authority, Governor Jennifer Granholm named Alexander as the State's appointee to the five-member Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority Board. Alexander was elected chairman at the Authority's first meeting and is current- ly leading a team that is transforming Detroit's Cobo Center into a competi- tive 21st-century meeting and conven- tion facility. On behalf of the DMCVB, Alexander navigated the efforts to land some of the world's most coveted sporting events, including Super Bowl XL in 2006 and the 2009 NCAA Men's Final Four. He also created and leads the Detroit Metro Sports Commission, a wholly- owned subsidiary of the Bureau respon- sible for landing the 2003 and 2008 AAU Junior Olympic Games, the 2008 Women's International Bowling Cong- ress, and contributing to the successful bid for the 2005 MLB All Star Game. In the realm of professional association meetings, Alexander led the team that won for Detroit the 2015 convention of the American Society of Association Executives, considered the "Super Bowl" of conventions. Before stepping into his current DMCVB role, Alexander was an execu- tive in the for-profit arena. He was the Black Meetings & Tourism November/December 2011:

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Black Meetings and Tourism - Nov/Dec 2011