SearchWide Global Seeks New Leader for Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

September 19, 2018 – After suffering a massive hit during the Great Recession, employment and hiring within the travel, hotel and hospitality industry continues to rebound. Last year, according to one set of survey metrics, the industry added more than 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 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 the total jobs nationwide. This has created a massive uptick of hiring within the travel sector.

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau recently retained executive recruiting firm SearchWide Global to lead its search for a new president and CEO. Mike Gamble, president and chief executive officer of SearchWide, led the assignment along with vice president Kellie Henderson.

The convention and visitor’s bureau wants a leader with knowledge of the travel and tourism industry, its distribution channels and customer base, said the search firm. A thorough understanding of the destination and region and its sales, marketing and business challenges will be an advantage to candidates.


Pyramind Lands Leader for the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau
Falls Church, VA-based search firm Pyramind recruited Jeffrey Vasser as the executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau. He succeeds Betsey Howell, who retired last year after leading the organization for 35 years.


The Position

The new leader will be charged with establishing and maintaining ongoing effective communications and relationships with state and local government leaders, business leaders, travel trade professionals, convention and event planners, and with state, regional, national and international industry leaders, said SearchWide Global. The president represents the organization at appropriate local, state, regional, national and international industry meetings and events that provide insights on and guidance for fulfilling the organization’s mission.

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau seeks a president with more than 10 years of leadership experience specifically within a sales and marketing focused organization, said the search firm. Experience building an inclusive workforce of unique employees that are empowered to make valuable contributions while reaching their fullest potential is important. Candidates must be able to create and maintain a professional and successful environment where differences are respected, and the skills and abilities of diverse individuals are valued.

Over 21 million visitors come to Boston annually, including 2.5 million international visitors, making it a leading tourist destination. The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau is the primary private sector marketing and visitor services organization charged with the development of meetings, conventions and tourism-related business. The group’s goal is to enhance the economy of Boston, Cambridge and the metropolitan area.

Experienced Recruiters

SearchWide Global is a full-service executive search firm focused on 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. Mr. Gamble handles C-Level searches across all sectors while Ms. Henderson works in all sectors of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry. She is also the leader of our industrywide diversity initiative and is very involved in several industry organizations.


PFM Executive Search Recruits CMO for Tourism Victoria
PFM Executive Search placed Paul Hawes as chief marketing officer of destination marketing organization Tourism Victoria. Mr. Hawes has more than 22 years of progressive tourism marketing and sales experience.


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.

Recently, SearchWide unveiled a new recruiting service specifically for customers looking to fill management roles quickly. The new service, SearchWide Connect, brings speed of placement to the market, without sacrificing the quality of candidates, said the search firm. “This division of SearchWide is led by a team of young and smart industry professionals who exhibit the ability to quickly find tomorrow’s industry leaders,” said Mr. Gamble. “With unemployment at an all-time low and the war on talent at an all-time high, speed to market is critically important to many of our clients, especially in the hotel and resort sector.”

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

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