After a nationwide search, the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Oct. 21 that Brent DeRaad, current president and CEO of Visit Tucson, has been chosen to lead the city’s destination marketing organization.
He will start his new position on Dec. 6, 2021.
DeRaad is replacing Ron Price, who had been president and CEO since 2013. Price resigned in May to head Visit Phoenix in Arizona.
“The Executive Committee, Board of Directors and search committee, spearheaded by SearchWide Global, reviewed numerous talented candidates during this months-long process. It was clear, based on experience and an understanding of the tourism industry, that Brent was the right person for the position, and we look forward to welcoming him to Arlington,” said Rob Matwick, ACVB Chairman of the Board.
DeRaad comes to Arlington with over 20 years of hospitality leadership, sales and marketing experience. With Visit Tucson, he was responsible for a $10 million annual budget and 16,000 hotel rooms.
Prior to Visit Tucson, DeRaad was executive vice president of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he previously was vice president of marketing. He has also been director of communications with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“I am honored to lead the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau and to take the baton from Ron Price. The CVB’s knowledgeable staff, city leaders, industry stakeholders and I will work together to continue the growth and impact of the organization and the city as we move into the future,” DeRaad said in the news release. “Arlington is a top sports, leisure and business destination and I look forward to being a part of its continued success.”
DeRaad holds two degrees from Arizona State University, a master’s in mass communication and a bachelor’s in journalism/public relations.
He is currently the immediate past board chair of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, board president of Destination Marketing Association of the West (DMA West), and a board member of both the Arizona Bowl college football bowl game, and of the Tucson Conquistadores, which stages the city’s annual PGA TOUR Champions event. He is also a member of the Arizona Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council.
DeRaad and wife, Beth, are the parents to two adult sons, Devon and Derek.
DeRaad will have several new tools to work with in Arlington, which bills itself as “The American Dream City.” The city and company officials recently broke ground on a Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center, a full-service resort, that will further strengthen Arlington’s robust convention and tourism opportunities.