Experience Columbus Appoints Brian Ross as President and CEO
After concluding a national search, the board of directors for Experience Columbus unanimously approved today the appointment of Brian Ross as the organization's next President and CEO. Ross has served as the organization's vice president of sales for six years.
Prior to joining Experience Columbus in 2007, Ross spent 17 years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts working in various sales and marketing roles. Most recently Ross was the executive director of sales for the Western US, overseeing 25 hotel properties in markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Denver and others.
"Experience Columbus has established aggressive goals for growth in the coming five years. The search committee sought a candidate who could work with our many partners to lead the effort to significantly grow convention and tourism business in Columbus and create greater economic prosperity for our community," said Lisa Hinson, Chair of the Board of Experience Columbus. "Brian's solid sales background and six-year focus on attracting conventions to Columbus shows he is ready to hit the ground running. We feel we have got the best of both worlds with Brian, someone who has Columbus in his DNA yet also has the broader experience of having worked in larger national markets."
As vice president of sales for Experience Columbus, Ross oversaw all aspects of the convention sales, convention services, group tour sales and membership departments. Under his leadership Experience Columbus opened national sales offices in D.C. and Chicago, added a sales position to focus on niche leisure group travel markets including family reunions, bank travel, religious groups travel and the LGBT travel market and grew its membership to include more than 870 organizations.
"I want to thank the search committee and board of directors for their support. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead Experience Columbus at this very exciting time in our city's development," said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. "I look forward to continuing the unprecedented collaboration that has taken place centered around advancing Columbus image on a national stage. We have a six-point aspirational plan that will grow the $7.8 billion tourism and hospitality industry here in Greater Columbus and add to the 61,000 jobs it supports."
Ross, who is 46, is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in Galena with his wife Mary, his 17-year-old son Jake and their dog Gigi. He assumed the new position on Jan. 16.
As the convention and visitors bureau for Ohio's capital city, Experience Columbus' mission is to sell, market and promote the best of the destination to visitors. For more information about all Columbus has to offer for leisure visitors, sports, meetings, conventions and trade shows, go to www.experiencecolumbus.com or call 800-354-2657.