New CEO for Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Tucson, AZ, March 11, 2012 --( After an extensive nationwide search, the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors has selected Brent DeRaad for the position of President & CEO, replacing long-time chief Jonathan Walker, who announced his retirement last September after 18 years with the bureau.

DeRaad will be responsible for the overall operation of the MTCVB, its $6.2 million budget and various departments including Sales and Marketing, Partnership, Public Relations, Sports, Mexico and Film.

“The Board of Directors and members of the search committee reviewed numerous talented candidates during this process. Brent’s broad range of experience within the tourism industry, especially in Arizona, catapulted him to the top choice for the position,” said Lynn Ericksen, MTCVB board chair. “He is the right guy, in this economic climate, to continue the momentum and maximize the power of the MTCVB.”

DeRaad will begin his duties in mid-April.

“I am very excited to work with the MTCVB staff, board and member businesses, along with local officials throughout the region to generate meetings, business and leisure travel to the area,” said DeRaad.

DeRaad comes to Tucson with over 20 years experience in management, marketing, community affairs and public relations, 14 of those in the tourism industry. He was most recently the executive vice president of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, where his previous roles include VP of Marketing and VP of Corporate Communications. He also served as director of communications with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.

During his tenure in Scottsdale, he led the campaign for Proposition 200, in which voters approved a two percent increase in the local bed tax and successfully worked with city council to allocate half of the total collected to the CVB. He also implemented a new branding initiative which included the development of a print, television and online advertising campaign.

DeRaad holds a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and Public Relations and a Masters in Mass Communication, both from Arizona State University. He and his wife Beth have two teenage sons.

Metropolitan Tucson CVB
Jessica Stephens