Marc Anderson Named New President and CEO of Visit San Antonio
The Visit San Antonio Board of Directors has named Marc Anderson as its new President and CEO, effective June 1. Anderson brings 29 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry to his new position in San Antonio, including work in global sales, marketing, public relations and e-commerce.
He succeeds Casandra Matej, who joined Visit Orlando in January.
“Our Board of Directors is thrilled to introduce a leader of Marc’s caliber into our community and to help guide Visit San Antonio into the future,” said Jeffrey Arndt, chairman of the Visit San Antonio board. “Marc joins an already outstanding team in San Antonio, and possesses the qualifications and expertise to help us navigate through the COVID recovery period and create a lasting impact on our area.”
For the past six years, Anderson has served as Chief Operating Officer for Choose Chicago, the sales and marketing entity for the City of Chicago, and McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. For that worldwide major destination, the Chicago native showcased a unique experience in growing market share for both citywide conventions and leisure/global development (tourism), and now focuses on a new emerging San Antonio market. Additionally, Anderson has extensive international experience, promoting the United States as well as developing new territories with influential relationships in Canada, China and the Middle East.
“I am thrilled to join the Visit San Antonio team and this vibrant community that is poised for not only an incredible recovery, but extensive growth in the coming years,” Anderson said. “As the seventh-largest city in the United States, San Antonio is experiencing a renaissance unlike many cities in our country. The city’s pro-tourism and pro-business stance was an invigorating and welcome opportunity.
“After all, DMOs are in existence to drive economic impact and tax revenues, increase demand, create new jobs and keep people working and uplift our cities across the world.”
Prior to Choose Chicago, Anderson was the Regional Director of Marketing for The Peninsula Hotels, for which he oversaw the regional sales, marketing, public relations and e-commerce office for all the company’s business development in the Midwest and Canada.
Anderson, a graduate of Drake University, also brings a wealth of industry experience and relationships with him as he is currently on the Board of Directors for the United States Travel Association (USTA), an Executive Committee Member of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, Co-Chair of the USTA CEO Roundtable and is a member on Destinations International’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Anderson will be joined by his wife, Brooke, and their college-age daughters, Avery and Lily, in relocating to San Antonio.
Arndt, the President and CEO of VIA Metropolitan Transit, stressed that Visit San Antonio’s vacancy drew a “significant talent level” of candidates. He added, “San Antonio should be proud of the level of interest there was in the industry for this position. It was evident to the committee almost immediately that Marc’s ability to perform at the highest level, along with his business acumen, would align very well with the work of the Visit San Antonio team.”
Searchwide Global led the search, bringing several strong candidates from the greater convention and leisure segments, including competitive destination marketing organizations throughout the country. Search committee co-chair Frank Miceli, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Franchise Business Operations for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, said, “As we look to the future, we’re confident that Marc is the right person to lead Visit San Antonio and carry on the long legacy of providing the highest level of service and support to the hospitality community in San Antonio.”
Visit San Antonio’s Chief Operating Officer, Dave Krupinski, has served as the interim President and CEO in the wake of Matej’s departure. “I want to thank Dave for his work in this interim period,” Arndt said. “He is a talented and influential leader for Visit San Antonio and we are thankful for his continued contributions in working with Marc and the rest of the VSA team as we move into recovery.”
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. In 2019, San Antonio welcomed approximately 41 million visitors. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy annually and employing 140,000 in 2019. More information about Visit San Antonio and its initiatives for hospitality partners can be found at Partners.VisitSanAntonio.com.
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