Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 19 2013

GMC Member Spotlight: Douglas J. Dvorak

Jill Formeister
After graduating from Northern Illinois University with a degree in broadcast communications, Doug Dvorak sold business forms in Chicago before moving to the Milwaukee area to sell television and then radio advertising.  I suppose I was always interested in the creative side of the medium,” Doug said. “However, while in Milwaukee I changed to hospitality, a decision I have never regretted.”

While working for the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the opportunity to represent the city of Chicago for the CCTB was presented.  I felt it would be a great career step as I wouldn’t necessarily be ‘leaving’ the hotel.  I could still sell the property and expand my career.  A few years later I was asked to re-open the St Louis Convention and Visitors Commission office and was there for 7 years.  When the (Midwest Director of Sales) Fort Worth position became available, I was intrigued and appreciated their interest in me.  It has been a terrific year, working for a remarkable and surprisingly unique destination that offers what larger cities have, in a convenient, accessible and walkable package.”

Doug described what he finds rewarding about his role: “It’s not only being the Director of the Midwest market nor representing the destination as a whole; it’s being able to partner with the hoteliers.  Working with a DMO for clients should always be a rewarding experience because of the added value we offer.  I enjoy getting close to the clients and seeing the enthusiasm generated when they experience the incredible partnership we have with our hotel and partner community.”

Doug identified his biggest challenge as “finding the time to accomplish all I wish including sales calls, events, visits to other states, Destination Education trips, conference calls, pre-convention meetings and the like.  There are so many people interested in what Fort Worth has to offer.  We are a one-of-a-kind destination with a unique mix of authentic Western heritage, world-class art and state-of-the-art convention facilities, it's needless to say we have a big story to tell.”

He explained how Fort Worth is staying current in today’s marketplace.  In addition to green initiatives at the Convention Center and a website (www.meetinfortworth.com) exclusively designed for planners, we have our very own Meeting Planner App. We also have 20 iPads for visiting planners which offer a customized customer experience.  Furthermore, we are beginning a market and feasibility study centering on tourist and destination attractions.”

Doug stays up-to-date in the industry “by reading the trade journals, going to GMC PCMA and MPI meetings to the best of my ability, being involved in committees and staying visible.  Annual meetings for PCMA and ASAE are included in my schedule, and I am honored and delighted to be participating on the next GMC PCMA Board.”

He credits both his superiors and PCMA for shaping his career.  “My superiors have made a big difference in my life and career choices.  Each has offered insight and a unique set of perspectives which have shaped the way I sell, communicate and collaborate with my peers and customers.” Doug rates the PCMA experience “as absolutely invaluable to my career path, my relationships with peers, partners and customers. The friendships that developed could never be duplicated.”  Not surprisingly, he adds, “There is no question that folks should get involved as much as possible.  Join committees not only to contribute, but to learn and network.”

Asked for how he maintains work-life balance, Doug noted, “Organization and utilization of the electronic devices available is key for me.  In other words, everything I do, have done or plan to do is in my calendar and/or traced in the CRM.  Once the daily tasks are satisfied, it’s easy to relax with family and friends.”  One very important friend is Lexie, his 15.5 year old 60-lb German Shepherd/Doberman.

What would this hospitality veteran be doing if he weren’t in the hospitality industry? “I think I might be a starving actor.”  The acting world’s loss is our gain.



Greater Midwest Chapter