LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2014) — The Commission of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau has accepted the resignation of President and CEO Jim Wood effective at today’s board meeting. He leaves the post after nearly 11 years of service.
Wood led Louisville’s tourism efforts as an economic development organization focused on attracting meetings, conventions and leisure travel to the Greater Louisville area. He represented the city at industry tradeshows and conferences and provided strategic leadership and oversight of the Bureau in all aspects of its fiscal and daily operation.
Wood has worked in the hospitality industry for 44 years. He led the successful efforts to bring to Louisville many significant industry tradeshows including the recent hosting of the record-setting FFA at an economic impact of more than $40 million annually. Other accomplishments include: the opening of a state-of-the-art Visitors Center in 2007; the launch of the regional tourism partnership of Bourbon Country, one of the few multi-city cooperative marketing campaigns; and the awarding of the American Bus Association annual conference in 2016.
Wood also was instrumental in signing long-term contracts with multiple conventions including the upcoming SkillsUSA Convention coming 2015-2020. During Wood’s tenure, Louisville hosted numerous industry shows such as Religious Convention Management Association, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, Teams, CESSE, Rejuvenate Marketplace, National Association of Sports Commissions. Wood is also credited for bringing the Abbey Road on the River Beatles Festival that has met on the Belvedere for the past 9 years. Most recently Wood attracted the Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular to Louisville in partnership with Louisville Metro Parks and Louisville Metro Parks Foundation. Under Wood’s leadership the Bureau has helped promote many signature festivals and events, including ones that Wood recruited such as the nine-year Abbey Road on the River and the recent success of Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular.
Wood came to the bureau after serving as president and CEO of the Greater Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. He was also the vice president of convention sales and marketing at the Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, where he was responsible for coordinating the city’s Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Final Four bids, The NHL All-Star Game and the successful relocation of The International Softball Federation.
“Jim Wood has brought Louisville unparalleled success when it comes to attracting conventions,” said Board Chair Michael Howerton. “We are certainly going to miss Jim’s enthusiasm. His innovative ideas will be pay dividends in this community for year’s to come.”
“The convention and tourism industry is a key driver of Louisville’s economy and our national and international image. Under Jim Wood’s leadership, both have grown significantly,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Our city thanks him for his many years of service.”
The search for a replacement will begin immediately.