May 23, 2017 – Executive recruiting firm SearchWide has brought aboard John Brich, former director of sales for the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, as a vice president. Mr. Brich takes the lead in managing the recruiter’s hotel and resort practice. He is charged with opening a new regional office in the Cincinnati area, the sixth location for the firm.
Mr. Brich served with the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureaufrom 2011-2017. Before that, he spent 12 years in various roles for Sheraton Chicago Hotels & Towers, ConferenceDirect and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
“Our work affects people’s lives every single day and what we do is important, rewarding and fun,” said Mike Gamble, president and chief executive officer of SearchWide. “John understood that immediately. He clearly has a great work history but it is his approachability, communication skills and warmth that set him apart. We are thrilled to have him on our team.”
Mr. Brich spoke of the respect he has for SearchWide. “I have been a client and a candidate and respect the integrity of the relationships and industry knowledge SearchWide embodies,” he said. “I look forward to helping our industry achieve greater numbers by connecting great organizations and great people.”
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SearchWide is a full service executive search firm dedicated to the travel, tourism & convention, hotel & lodging industries and sports & entertainment sectors. It specializes in C-level, director and management level searches for Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies.
The firm recently filled chief executive officer positions for Visit Aurora, Visit Baltimore, the Greater Newark Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, Visit West Hollywood, Kentucky State Fair Board, and the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. SearchWide is currently engaged in searches for top leaders at the Mobile Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Empire State Building Company, among others.
Last fall, SearchWide added tourism industry leader Bob Lander as an executive consultant and coach. Mr. Lander previously served as president and CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and is past chair of Destination Marketing Association International. Mr. Lander’s responsibilities revolve around further developing key relationships in the hotel/ resort sector as well as in the broader travel/tourism, and hospitality industries.
An Industry Rebounding
After suffering a massive hit during the Great Recession, employment and hiring within the travel, hotel and hospitality industry has begun to rebound. In the last year, according to one set of survey metrics, the industry added 527,000 jobs (2.6 million since 2004). That number is likely to increase this year as global tourism and traveling in general are expected to rise.
Overall, the travel and hospitality market is estimated to generate an annual economic impact of $6.5 trillion worldwide this year. In the U.S. alone the $1.5 trillion industry accounts for nearly eight million jobs – more than five percent of total jobs across the country.
Many in the industry are hoping to gain from the change in the White House. “My hope is that Donald Trump will be good for the economy and a voice for the hotel industry on Capitol Hill,” said Keith Kefgen, managing director and CEO of AETHOS, a human capital advisory firm focused on the hospitality sector. “Travel is a key indicator of economic health, and I believe Mr. Trump’s low tax, small government approach is good for business.”
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media