Executive Director, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau (SACVB)
As executive director of the SACVB, Casandra Matej oversees the promotion of San Antonio's leisure and convention markets. The organization has a $20 million budget with 93 full time employees.
Her 20 years of experience in the tourism industry has spanned convention and visitors bureaus, and hotels. Most recently, she served as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Services for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, during which time Casandra restructured the sales divisions, resulting in a 40 percent growth of convention room night sales.
During her tenure in San Antonio, Casandra launched the Top 100 Sales Strategy that targets key local industries (biosciences, cyber security, oil/gas, higher education and green energy) to bring their next meeting or convention to the city.
She led the SACVB in launching “Remember the…,” a consumer-generated, social media-driven campaign that showcased the hidden gems of San Antonio. It resulted in growing VisitSanAntonio’s Facebook Likes from 26,000 to 250,000+ in year one. San Antonio was also the first Destination Marketing Organization to offer a consumer website that utilizes social media settings and interests to provide a personalized user experience.
One of her achievements has been initiating San Antonio’s Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program which has grown to become the largest in the country with over 1,700 CTAs dedicated to providing exceptional visitor experiences. Always committed to the future and growth of San Antonio’s tourism industry, Casandra serves on the leadership team for the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center’s Transformation Project, a $325 million expansion of the city’s prestigious convention center.
Matej is currently on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association, the Texas Travel Industry Association, and Texas Society of Association Executives. In San Antonio, Casandra is active serving on the Economic Development Council, Board of Directors of the Valero Alamo Bowl, and Boysville Inc.
Casandra Matej is an enthusiastic Texas Longhorn who holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications with a concentration in Organizational Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. She and her husband, Chris, are proud parents to John (4) and Ellie Mae(6), and step-daughters, Madison(18) and Carlie (14). In her spare time, Matej enjoys golf and boating with her family.