Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2015

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B M & T ••• March/April 2015 ••• 30 LARRY ALEXANDER, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) and a 33-year veteran of the hospitality and tourism industry, has shaped the Bureau into the leading organization responsible for facilitating tourism economic growth in Metro Detroit. Alexander leads an innovative, multi- award winning convention sales, mar- keting and convention services effort that has often exceeded CVB industry standards for its performance. He over- sees an annual budget of $12 million and 51 employees. Following passage in 2009 of 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-mem- ber Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority Board. Alexander was elected chairman at the Authority's first meeting and is currently leading a team that is transforming Detroit's Cobo Center into a competitive 21st-century meeting and convention facility. On behalf of the DMCVB, Alexander navigated the efforts to land some of the world's most coveted sport- ing 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 responsible for landing the 2003 and 2008 AAU Junior Olympic Games, the 2008 Women's International Bowling Congress, and contributing to the suc- cessful bid for the 2005 MLB All Star Game. In the realm of professional asso- ciation meetings, Alexander led the team that won for Detroit the 2015 con- vention 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 managing director of The Westin Hotel – Detroit Renaissance Center (now under Marriott ownership), responsible for the marketing and operations of one of the nation's largest hotels. He also served as general man- ager of The Westin Miyako in San Francisco; The Westin-O'Hare in Chicago and The Westin Hotel Cincinnati. In addition to his chairmanship of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, Alexander is a board member of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, The Parade Company (Detroit), The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, The Detroit Zoological Society, New Detroit and Forgotten Harvest. LARRY ATCHISON serves as asso- ciate director of Sales, Services & Sports at the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB). In his posi- tion, Atchison has the primary responsi- bility of working with organizations based in the Northeast and working with convention and sports sales initia- tives within the bureau. Atchison, a 31-year veteran of the hospitality and meeting industry, has been with ACVB for 21 years. After serv- ing as ACVB's national sales manager for four years in Washington, D.C., he returned to Albuquerque in 2006. He also served as interim vice president of Convention Sales & Services for the Bureau in 2010. CLEO BATTLE was appointed exec- utive vice president of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau in January 2013. Battle's responsibilities include developing relationships with clients in Washington and Chicago, representing the Louisville Bureau at industry tradeshows and conferences and providing strategic leadership and oversight of the Bureau in all aspects of its fiscal and daily operation. Battle has worked in the hospitality industry for 28 years. Prior to coming to the Louisville Bureau, Battle spent the last 12 years as vice president of Sales & Services for the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau in Richmond, VA. He also held the positions of director of Sales and sales man- ager at the Richmond CVB. Battle began his hospitality career in the hotel industry working for Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Sheraton Hotels. KATHLEEN JACKSON BERT- RAND, with Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau since 1983, serves as senior vice president, community and governmental affairs. Bertrand has been instrumental in the ACVB's develop- ment of diversity marketing programs and its governmental relations. She is the highest ranking female staff member in the history of the organization.

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