The Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Executive Committee unanimously voted Keith Sanford, president and CEO of the Tennessee Aquarium, as the new chairman of the board.
“I am honored to serve our community in this new role,” said Mr. Sanford. “We have a talented board that focuses on the success of tourism in Hamilton County. The next few months are critical as we search for a new president and CEO. We are committed to finding the right person who will continue to build the momentum that Bob Doak has generated during his tenure.”
This new appointment was necessary due to the resignation of Tom Cupo of The Chattanoogan Hotel. The property, which has been managed by Benchmark Resorts and Hotels, was recently sold. Mr. Cupo will be transferring to a Benchmark property in Virginia.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have Tom on our board," said Bob Doak, president and CEO fo the CVB. "He’s been an incredible asset to not only the CVB, but to the hospitality industry and our community. We will miss him, but we are also excited about what his future holds. We are also thrilled to welcome Keith in this new leadership role and look forward to working with him as we continue to promote one of nation’s top tourism destinations.”
With the shift in a new chairman, additional positions opened on the executive committee. Lisa Maragnano, CARTA’s executive director, has been named treasurer. Johnny O’Brien, owner of High Point Climbing & Fitness, has been added to the executive committee.
In addition, Allen Corey of STIR restaurant has been added to the search committee to find a new CVB president and CEO. This decision was made in order to have restaurant representation. The CVB announced earlier this year that Mr. Doak will be retiring in early 2018.