Houston First Corporation (Houston First) is a public-private partnership and the official destination management organization (DMO) for Houston, generating economic benefits and revenues for the region through strategic development and the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. Houston First tells the story about the great things to do, see and experience in Houston and the surrounding area.
Houston First operates the city’s finest convention, arts, and entertainment venues, and manages more than ten city-owned properties and parking facilities for over 11,000 vehicles. Its properties host more than 40 major events and 200 smaller events each year, with more than 600 concerts and theatrical performances. Houston First also acts as the City of Houston’s agent for collection of hotel occupancy tax revenue. In 2014, Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) aligned their operations to create a unified voice for the city under the brand “Visit Houston.”
The Chief Destination Officer will be responsible for leading and managing the destination management function of Houston First, which includes marketing, tourism and sales. This person will:
Serve as a member of the executive team of Houston First.
Establish and maintain effective communications and partnerships with GHCVB members and Greater Houston hoteliers, government leaders; business, cultural and institutional leaders; and convention and event planners.
Work with the executive leadership team to develop and implement financially sound marketing and business strategies, with the goal of optimizing the promotion and marketing of the Greater Houston region to the local, state, regional, national, and international meetings industry within approved budgets.
Work with stakeholders; industry experts; community, civic and business leaders; and the GHCVB to develop new business opportunities, create new sales channels, and foster innovative partnerships to draw visitors to Houston.
Oversee the work of the Houston Film Commission that directs the development and marketing of strategies to attract business and foster the growth of the creative media industries in Houston serving industry segments that produce content such as motion pictures, video, television, commercials and other multimedia production.
Work with the Chief Financial Officer to drive the forecasting, budgeting, financial, and management reporting process for the destination management business; conduct variance analysis and recommend suitable courses of responsive action as appropriate.
Regularly analyze performance and results relative to the established objectives, and be nimble enough to make the changes necessary to align with external circumstances to achieve those objectives.
Conduct all activities within established policies and within city, state, and federal laws, as well as with the highest of ethical standards.
Ensure that Houston First maintains credibility, both internally and externally, through sound and reliable business operations, superior staff management, and the development of strong relationships with key stakeholders.
A minimum of 15 years of sales and marketing leadership experience in the convention, destination management, or hospitality industries;
A track record of success and accomplishment increasing sales of convention and/or hospitality business;
Significant industry relationships and exceptional credibility;
An in-depth understanding of cooperative marketing initiatives, the national convention market, and destination marketing;
Superior written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interact credibly and diplomatically with all levels of an organization and the outside community, tailoring communications effectively for different groups and stakeholders;
A passion for Houston and ability to articulate the appeal of the Houston experience to convention attendees, destination management organizations, and tourists alike;
Exceptional management experience both from a business perspective as well as the people side—building, motivating and managing a collaborative team;
Demonstrated financial experience overseeing complex budgets and projects;
An ability to “get behind” the numbers to advise management on financial and strategic issues, combined with the ability to build a business case for opportunities, ventures and transactions;
A college degree with a focus in marketing, communications, hospitality, journalism or other business-related discipline from an accredited four-year college or university;
Multilingual a plus.
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Internal Number: 3416
About Houston First Corporation
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