Claude Molinari, general manager of TCF Center, has been named president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, effective January 1, 2021. He will succeed current president and CEO Larry Alexander who is retiring at year end after 22 years at the helm of the DMCVB.
In his new role, Molinari will be responsible for developing the strategic direction and overseeing the operations of the DMCVB. He will provide the leadership and direction necessary to enable the DMCVB to bring meetings and conventions, leisure and business visitors to metropolitan Detroit and accelerate economic growth. He will lead the creation of the annual sales and marketing plan of the DMCVB which outlines the direction the DMCVB will take to attract tourism and meetings business to the region.
Molinari will also oversee the direction of the Detroit Sports Commission (a DMCVB subsidiary) which is responsible for securing amateur sports for the region.
In his current role at TCF Center, Molinari is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation and also business development of the 17th largest convention center in North America. His responsibilities include developing a budget, forecasting and financing, and implementing safety, security and crisis management programs for the center. He negotiates with local trade unions, develops business contingency, facility safety and emergency plans, and assures that annual budget goals are achieved.
According to the search committee assigned to identify a new CEO, there were 14 strong candidates from across the U.S. that applied for the position.
“Claude is uniquely positioned to accept this new role,” says Christina Lovio-George, chairman of the search committee and DMCVB board member. “He knows the DMCVB business, he understands the role of tourism, meetings and conventions as an economic driver in the region, and he intimately understands the challenges the tourism and hospitality industry are facing now as it deals with the impact of COVID-19.”
Lovio-George added as a side note that the DMCVB will be 125 years old in 2021 and Molinari will be the tenth person in the CEO seat.
Molinari’s history at TCF Center began when it was the former Cobo Center. There he served as assistant general manager from 2011-2016 with oversight of operations, security, events and production services and union labor services. He was named general manager in March 2016 by SMG/ASM Global and during that time forged a strong partnership between the DMCVB and the TCF Center operation.
“Looking toward the future, Claude’s deep understanding of the vital role the TCF Center plays in the overall economic health of the entire Detroit region will be invaluable as the partnership grows to new levels,” says Larry Alexander, who is retaining his position as chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.
Molinari currently serves on the board of directors for the DMCVB and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, International Association of Events and Exhibitions. He is a USA Hockey official, Level III certified and selected to referee state and national playoff tournaments. He resides with his wife in Northville, Michigan.
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is the only organization that promotes metro Detroit regionally, nationally and internationally as a convention, business meeting and tourism destination. To achieve this goal of soliciting and servicing the area’s second-largest industry, the DMCVB works with the Detroit and Windsor area business community, civic organizations and local government offices in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The DMCVB is neither a branch of any government nor a charitable foundation. It is an independent, nonprofit economic development organization. For more info, visit visitdetroit.com