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National meetings figure named executive vice president of evolving New Orleans CVB

A meetings industry veteran has been named to fill a new executive vice president position at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) as the organization undergoes a measure of realignment.

Brad Weaber, a 25-year meeting industry veteran who has served as executive vice president of SmithBucklin and Experient, will become the executive vice president of the NOCVB, a newly created position, effective Aug. 1, announced Stephen Perry, president and CEO, NOCVB.

“Brad Weaber is one of the most respected meetings professionals in the nation. His innovative ideas, strategic thinking and invaluable breadth of customer and marketplace experience will make New Orleans an even more competitive destination for meetings and conventions and add enormous value for our customers,” said Perry. “We have had the pleasure of working with Brad and are thrilled to have someone of his caliber, intellect and execution history join our team. We look forward to our partnership in inventing the new CVB model for the rapidly evolving meetings market.”

Weaber’s appointment is one part of a comprehensive strategic and tactical reorganization of the convention and meetings efforts of one of the most successful destinations in the U.S. for major business, incentive, corporate and association meetings of all sizes.

The new executive vice president position to be held by Weaber will focus on a new, enhanced strategic direction for New Orleans as a convention destination, partnering with Perry, the board of directors and a new vice president of convention sales in re-engineering and enhancing the production and the value of the CVB. Weaber will lead a new positioning of the CVB as an enhanced partner to corporations and associations, providing new services, a re-imagined customer interface and guide the development of New Orleans as a national leader in CVB reinvention and relevance in the new marketplace.

“I have had the opportunity to work with the New Orleans CVB as a customer, meeting attendee and a member of the National Customer Advisory Council, so it’s a real honor to join this team,” said Weaber. “It is impressive to see the dynamics of the city, the innovations, the stunning proposed infrastructure enhancements and the industry coming together over the past few years like never before. I look forward to working closely with the entire hospitality community to create a new national industry model in New Orleans.”

The New Orleans CVB is also engaged in a national search for a vice president of convention sales as part of the transition surrounding the summer 2013 retirement of 31-year New Orleans legend Nikki Nicholson Moon. The new vice president of convention sales will partner with Weaber, Perry, the Morial Convention Center and hotel community leadership in the strategic realignment and will supervise from New Orleans the day-to-day operations and management of the 35-person national convention sales and services team.

Weaber will reside in Washington D.C. and divide time between New Orleans and travel throughout the country. He will have line authority over all convention and meeting personnel and programs.

Weaber currently serves as executive vice president of SmithBucklin’s Event Services unit. Prior to joining SmithBucklin in January 2009, Brad held numerous leadership positions during his 18-year tenure with Experient, including serving as executive vice president and chief customer officer responsible for overseeing the sales and account management division. Previously, Weaber held a variety of hotel management positions with the Renaissance Hotel in Springfield, Ill.

Tourism is a $6 billion industry for New Orleans, employing 75,000 people and attracting more than nine million visitors annually.  New Orleans’ largest industry has a goal of reaching 13.7 million visitors by 2018, the city’s tricentennial.

The NOCVB is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Phoenix and five foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB is celebrating its 53rd anniversary this year.

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