SearchWide Global Recruits CEO for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

November 24, 2020 – Executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global has placed the new president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB). Claude Molinari, the general manager of the TCF Center, a convention center in Detroit, will begin his new role on Jan. 1. Senior vice president Kellie Henderson led the assignment for the search firm.

Mr. Molinari was chosen over 13 other strong candidates for the position, said DMCVB. He will succeed Larry Alexander, who is retiring after leading the DMCVB for the last 22 years. “Claude is uniquely positioned to accept this new role,” said DMCVB board member Christina Lovio-George, who is chairman of the organization’s search committee, as well as CEO and president of Lovio George Communications + Design. “He knows the DMCVB business, he understands the role of tourism, meetings and conventions as an economic driver in the region, and he intimately understands the challenges the tourism and hospitality industry are facing now as it deals with the impact of COVID-19.”

Economic Growth

“Looking toward the future, Claude’s deep understanding of the vital role the TCF Center plays in the overall economic health of the entire Detroit region will be invaluable as the partnership grows to new levels,” said Mr. Alexander, who will continue to serve as the chairmen of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

Mr. Molinari will oversee the operations of the DMCVB, as well as develop the organization’s strategic direction. This will be instrumental in increasing economic growth in Detroit by bringing leisure and business visitors, and meetings and conventions, to the area. In addition, Mr. Molinari will be charged with creating the sales and marketing plan to guide how the DMCVB will increase tourism and business travel to the region.

The new president and CEO brings with him vast operational experience gained during his tenure at the TCF Center, the 17th largest convention center in North America. In that role, he has managed daily activities since 2016 after spending five years as assistant general manager. From developing and maintaining a budget to creating security and crisis management plans for the venue to negotiating with local trade unions, Mr. Molinari has been instrumental in the center’s business operations.

A Strategic Leader

The DMCVB president and CEO is the strategic and visionary leader responsible for developing, directing and overseeing implementation of the strategic plan, operations, staff supervision, community and governmental relations and board governance for the convention and visitors bureau and Detroit Sports Commission. Mr. Molinari will be expected to provide the leadership, direction, creativity, initiative and managerial efforts necessary to enable the organization to bring conventions, leisure and business visitors to metropolitan Detroit to provide economic growth, said SearchWide Global.

Mr. Molinari will also be charged with providing the necessary leadership to ensure that a commitment to quality management principles including empowerment and cross functional teams are implemented throughout the bureau resulting in effective performance of the entire organization towards the accomplishment of its mission.


SearchWide Global Seeks New Leader for Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
The Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center in West Virginia has retained executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global to find its next executive director. The Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center wants a dynamic leader with visionary abilities, excellent listening, communication and interpersonal skills, and organizational ability, said SearchWide Global.


The DMCVB wanted candidate with a minimum of 10 years executive management experience in a supervisory capacity with hands on experience in budgeting, business planning and analysis, public speaking and strategic planning, among other qualifications.

Respected Recruiters

SearchWide Global, based in St. Paul, MN, is a full-service executive recruitment firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management and experiential marketing industries. The firm specializes in C-level and director-level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations.

Ms. Henderson works in all sectors of hospitality, travel and tourism. She has experience recognizing clients’ needs, identifying best-in-class talent. She also leads SearchWide Global’s industry-wide diversity initiative. She serves on the Destinations International Foundation board of trustees is involved in several other industry organizations. Previously, Ms. Henderson worked in the DMO and hotel industry.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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