With a sole focus on building the convention, meeting and group market for Atlantic City, the newly formed Meet AC – a private, nonprofit sales organization – has hired James Wood as the chief executive officer.
Bringing with him a wealth of experience, Wood will begin his new role June 30, with an annual budget of $8 million funded by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).
“The entire board was very impressed with Jim’s highly successful track record of accomplishments,” said Jeff Albrecht, board chairman, Meet AC and general manager, Sheraton Atlantic City. “Everyone we spoke to about Jim reiterated his strong sales performance in every venture he took on – he is the perfect collaborator, strategist and leader to take meetings and conventions in Atlantic City to the next level.”
Wood will hire a staff and lead the Meet AC sales effort to generate both citywide and single-property bookings to Atlantic City’s new, more efficient convention and group sales structure. He was formerly president and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Atlantic City’s convention, meeting and group sales segment is continuing to show growth, but is simultaneously being repositioned for the future. Signed into law in Feb. 2011, the New Jersey S-11 legislation called for a transformation of Atlantic City’s tourism and economic development industry in response to the expansion of gaming throughout the U.S.
The legislation called for the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) to be merged into the CRDA. The former ACCVA included sales, marketing, visitor center operations, convention services and ownership of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall.
The CRDA is retaining all of the former responsibilities of the ACCVA with the sole exception of convention and group sales and convention services. The decision to create Meet AC was the result of two independent studies.