September 22, 2020 – The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has retained executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global to find its next president and CEO. Senior vice president Kellie Henderson is leading the assignment.
The 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 Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and Detroit Sports Commission. They will 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.
The search firm notes that this executive will provide 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 is looking for 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.
Preferred Qualifications/Ideal Background
- Previous DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) leadership experience with a background in hotel sales for a large/big box convention property.
- Certified destination marketing executive.
- Experience in complex financial management processes and procedures.
- Thorough working knowledge and direct experience within the tourism or hospitality industries representing urban products.
- Must have a proven record of successful interaction and experience working with boards and/or multiple stakeholder groups, including local elected officials and owners of businesses, small, medium and large.
- An established influential, visible and strategic thinker within the national tourism/hospitality industry.
- A thorough understanding of the Detroit Metro area or similar market, and its marketing and business challenges is preferred but not required.
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is the only organization that promotes metro Detroit regionally, nationally and internationally as a convention, business meeting and tourism destination. To achieve this goal of soliciting and servicing the area’s second-largest industry, the organization works with the Detroit and Windsor area business community, civic organizations and local government offices in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties
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.
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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.
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.
SearchWide Global recently placed Jerad Bachar as president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. Craig Davis, who led the agency for seven years, stepped down at the end of last year to take the job as president and CEO of VisitDallas. Mike Gamble, president and CEO, is leading the assignment for SearchWide Global, which also placed Mr. Davis in his new job.
“I would like to thank Searchwide Global, a highly respected leader in our industry; the members of the search committee, who spent numerous hours helping to identify the right candidate; the many candidates who graciously met with us during the process; the VisitPITTSBURGH leadership team who continue to help guide us through this pandemic; and the entire VisitPITTSBURGH staff who are tirelessly working on retaining future business and sports events as well as targeting future leisure travelers,” said Bryan Iams, chairman of the VisitPITTSBURGH’s board of directors.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media