This Just In
  • Mad Event Management is launching UAS/Drones for Disaster Response April 19-20 in Miami. First responders are the target audience.
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores OK’d a 3-year deal with CompuSystems for registration at their meeting and Total Store Expo.
  • Quebec-based ExpoPromotion has sold Montreal Home Expo and Montreal Fall Home Expo to Cleveland-based home show producer Marketplace Events.
  • Access Intelligence will launch Global Esports Business Summit for the esports industry Oct. 1-3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
  • Renovation of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center’s lobby, ballroom, and meeting space is scheduled for completion this summer.
  • UBM has acquired Grupo CanalEnergia, an organizer of events in the Brazilian renewable energy sector.
  • The grand opening of the new downtown Omni Louisville Hotel next to the Kentucky International Convention Center was March 6.
  • The grand opening of the Fairmont Austin was March 5. It has 140,000 sf of event space, and direct access to the Austin Convention Center.
  • A new Industry Insight Series Report from CEIR is a practical guide to integrating effective engagement tactics in exhibit booth design.
  • Freeman was named an approved partner for all Mobile World Congress events globally as part of a 3-year deal with event producer GSMA.

CEO Michael Gehrisch Departs as DMAI Eyes Future Changes

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
September 9, 2015
Share On:

Washington, DC – The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) is now looking for a new leader as it continues with its ambitious plan to reshape and refocus the entire destination marketing business.

Michael Gehrisch is leaving the association after 15 years as president and CEO. The announcement came about one month before a previously scheduled strategy session for DMAI board members and the trustees of the Destination & Travel Foundation.

“We are thankful and appreciative of the leadership and contributions that Michael made during his tenure that have made a positive impact on the growth and respect for the destination marketing industry internationally,” said Bob Lander, chairman of the DMAI Board of Directors and president and CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Lander said there would be no immediate changes in the DMAI’s meeting schedule or programming. Chief Operating Officer Charles Jeffers will steer the day-to-day operations of the association until a new CEO is selected.

Gehrisch said the time was right to step down and that he would consult with the DMAI during the leadership transition. “Fifteen years with in one organization is long enough for any association executive,” he said.

Gehrisch joined DMAI in 2000 when it was known as the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (IACVB). He led a repositioning that included changing the name to DMAI, and creating the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program. The association currently has more than 600 member destination marketing organizations (DMO) in the U.S. and worldwide. 

The DMAI last year launched another drive to update and reposition itself, known as the DestinationNEXT. The primary goal is to redefining the role of DMOs with an emphasis on collecting data and establishing best practices that can be used by DMOs of any size.

The second phase of DestinationNEXT, which was unveiled at the DMAI’s Annual Convention this Summer, will build on the research carried out during Phase 1 to create a series of case studies and an online took kit for use by member DMOs.

Lander said the October strategy session in Dallas would help set the parameters for the CEO search and any course changes that the new leader would be making. “Times of transition provide an opportunity to redefine an organization and create a new way forward,” he said.

Reach Bob Lander at (512) 228-4354 or

Share On: