Craig Davis Named President and CEO of VisitDallas

Author: Curt Wagner       

Craig Davis

Craig Davis, President and CEO at VisitPITTSBURGH, welcomes PCMA Convening Leaders 2019 delegates to his city. Davis is leaving Pittsburgh to become president and CEO of VisitDallas beginning Jan. 6. (Jacob Slaton Photography)

Craig Davis, CDME, currently president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, is leaving the post to become CEO and president of VisitDallas. He will start his new job Jan. 6.

Davis will replace VisitDallas Interim President and CEO Sam Coats, who assumed leadership of the agency in May after former President and CEO Phillip Jones stepped down.

Davis has worked in the hospitality industry for more than three decades, including in executive positions at hotels in Toronto, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. He began his tenure at VisitPITTSBURGH in 2000 as executive director of convention sales and was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing in 2007 before becoming president and CEO in March 2012.

While at VisitPITTSBURGH, Davis was responsible for overseeing the convention sales and marketing efforts for the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the first Gold and Platinum LEED-certified convention center in the world.

In a statement Wednesday, Joyce Williams, chair of the VisitDallas Board of Directors, said Davis “stood out among many highly qualified applicants for his strong leadership abilities and extensive destination, hotel, and hospitality experience.” She added: “He has an impeccable reputation in the industry and we’re thrilled to bring his expertise to Dallas.”

Davis currently serves as the chair of Destinations International’s Board of Directors.

“Dallas is an amazing city and the VisitDallas team is regarded very well nationally,” Davis said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the team of the No. 5 convention city in the nation, the only Texas city in the Top 10, and the No. 1 visitor destination in the state. Dallas is a city on the move, and I’m honored to be a part of its future.”

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Davis became a U.S. citizen in 2001. He leaves VisitPITTSBURGH effective Dec. 31.

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