Executive Vice President & COO, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau
John joined Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1993, and currently serves as the Executive Vice President & COO. In that capacity, he is responsible for the marketing and selling of Memphis as a convention destination to the meetings and convention industry. He is also responsible for the MCVB’s Tourism and Sports sales effort, Convention Services and Visitor Services, and the Memphis Cook Convention Center’s (MCCC) Sales team.
The successful selling and marketing of a destination in an extremely competitive industry is a highly involved process. John’s primary marketing responsibilities include advertising development & media buying for the meetings market, managing a sales and services staff that includes satellite sales offices located in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Europe. John also is responsible for tradeshow selection and tradeshow marketing, sales collateral development, industry relations, and developing strategic partnerships.
John is heavily involved in the analysis and development of the proper infrastructure required to keep Memphis a competitive convention destination. He also works closely with elected officials, the economic development staff of local government, and hotel developers to keep Memphis competitive on a regional and national basis. As a mayoral appointed Commissioner on the Cook Convention Center Board of Commissioners from 2000-2011, John was highly involved in the 2003 expansion and renovation of the Memphis convention center. Most recently John served as a member of the Memphis Convention Center Feasibility Committee. The committee is tasked with the responsibility of determining the necessity of expanding the existing convention center or building a new facility.
Before moving to Memphis, John worked for eight years as Regional Director of the Washington, DC Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza Worldwide Sales Office.
He began his career in the hospitality industry with the BF Saul Company, a Washington, DC based REIT that owned and managed Hilton, Holiday Inn, and Marriott franchises nationwide. His on property experience included positions as Sales Manager, Director of Sales, Corporate Director of Sales, and Assistant Hotel General Manager.
John’s service on local and national boards includes the Destination Marketing Association International (2004-2007), the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association, the Memphis Restaurant Association, and the TN Hotel & Lodging Association, and the Memphis Cook Convention Center Board of Commissioners.