Industry Veteran Greg Ortale Returns to Houston as CVB Head

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Houston, TX – After 20 years as the first and only president of the convention and visitors bureau in Minneapolis, Greg Ortale has been named president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, where they still remember the mark he left on the city in the 1980s.

Although Ortale was the long-time president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, Official Convention + Visitors Association, he has an equally long history in Houston. He was executive vice president and general manager of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Council in the 1980s as well as the first president of the Texas Travel Industry Congress.

Ortale will assume his new position on Dec. 3. He replaces Jordy Tollet, who left the agency in January. Melvin Tennant stepped in as interim CEO of Meet Minneapolis. He joined Meet Minneapolis earlier this year as senior vice president of operations after holding executive positions with the CVBs in San Antonio and Charlotte.

Ortale said he saw Houston as a city at the top of its game in terms of being a destination for both tourists and exhibitions. “I view the city as completing a renaissance of sorts,” he said. “The infrastructure continues to improve. With the expanded George R. Brown Convention Center, coupled with the Hilton Americas convention hotel, Houston has everything it needs to succeed.”

Ortale joined Meet Minneapolis in 1987 as the organization’s first president and expanded it to 70 employees and a $9.1 million budget.  Under Ortale’s leadership, the organization and city’s convention infrastructure expanded with the opening of the Minneapolis Convention Center in 1990 and its subsequent expansion in 2002 that doubled its exhibit space to 475,000 square feet of prime exhibit space.

Reach Greg Ortale at (612) 767-8080 or grego@minneapolis.org until late November.

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