News for the Hospitality Executive
Spurgeon Richardson Retiring as President and CEO of the
Convention & Visitors Bureau; At the Helm for 17 Years
|ATLANTA (March 4, 2008) – Spurgeon Richardson announced
that he will retire as president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention &
Visitors Bureau at the end of the year.
“It has been a fantastic 17 years at the helm of this ship and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished as an industry,” Richardson said. “During my time at ACVB, Atlanta has grown to a world-class city and together we’ve grown Atlanta’s hospitality industry right alongside that.”
Under Richardson's leadership, the ACVB became one of the first bureaus in the country to develop a cultural tourism department, launch a destination Web site, begin a diversity marketing program, start a charitable foundation, implement a performance-based compensation system and to form a corporate development department, all of which have helped project Atlanta as a great destination city.
Other highlights during his tenure include the 1996 Olympics, which placed the city in the global spotlight and fostered long-term growth, the various expansion phases of the Georgia World Congress Center, efforts to bolster the hospitality industry following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the current influx of boutique hotels and dramatic changes in the city’s dining scene.
Former ACVB Chairman and partner of Stormont Holding Group, LLC, Dick Stormont said, “We didn’t have the great hotels, great convention facilities and night life that we have now. It came out as a result of the demand that Spurgeon and his team created. He created the demand and enthusiasm and that built the business.”
“One thing about Richardson that will be hard to replace is his ability to stand shoulder to shoulder with the governor, mayor, U.S. president or the smallest meeting planner and make them feel proud and important.”
Steve Smith, new ACVB chairman and vice president of government and community relations for Turner Broadcasting System, said Richardson will be tough to replace, but a job opening of this magnitude in one of the biggest cities in the country for conventions should prove to be a positive opportunity. Michael Robison, CEO of Lanier Parking Co. and a former ACVB chairman, will head an executive search committee for Smith and the board. Once committee members have been named, a national search will begin.
Richardson envisions having someone who will focus on maintaining Atlanta as a top meeting and convention site, developing tourism and growing the city as a tourist destination, and fostering more international business.
“I have a love, passion and enthusiasm for our industry and I love this
city,” he said. “I have truly felt for 17 years that I have the best job
Highlights of Richardson's Career
|Also See:||Meeting Planners Complaining About Panhandlers in Downtown Atlanta; Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau Claims Panhandling Ordinance Not Being Enforced / August 2006|
|Big Topic at the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus Annual Meeting was New Code of Ethics; Atlanta CVB Chief Spurgeon Richardson New Chairman / July 2003|