by Michael J. Shapiro | May 21, 2018
The Cincinnati USA convention and visitors bureau has completed its five-month search for a new president and CEO, naming Julie Calvert as the new CVB head. Calvert currently is the founder and executive director of Source Cincinnati; she was a senior executive with the CVB from 2001 to 2016. Former president and CEO Dan Lincoln, who led the CVB for 11 years, stepped down at the end of 2017, citing health reasons. 
"This position has an opportunity to shape the vision of the Cincinnati destination for decades to come, and we had to get it absolutely right," said CVB board chair Jim McGraw. "With Julie, we get a leader with a proven track record of driving destination reputation and economic impact. We get a passionate advocate for our region who understands our business, government and civic landscapes and how to mobilize the decision-makers who guide them. Moreover, we get an expert strategist who appreciates the power of collaboration and creative problem-solving to move the Cincinnati region forward."
Calvert founded Source Cincinnati in 2014 to connect with national media and help to put the city in the global spotlight. The independent organization has worked closely with the CVB, and is supported by the region's businesses and civic and arts entities. 
"Source has elevated Cincinnati at the national and international levels in ways we can't even measure," said Scott Robertson, board chair of Source Cincinnati. "Now Calvert takes that experience, passion and vision to the CVB, and our destination couldn't be in better hands."
Prior to spinning off Source, Calvert was vice president of communications and strategic development for the CVB. She oversaw the organization's communications, media, membership, stakeholder communications, community relations and organizational departments. She was a key advocate in the launch of the CVB's supplier diversity program and supported the development of the multicultural marketing channel.
"I love Cincinnati, and I've had the privilege of spending my career promoting the people and organizations who make it such a special place," said Calvert. "It's an exciting time to lead the CVB, and I can't wait to get started with our board and executive committee to cast the vision and map our most urgent priorities."
Big issues under consideration for the city include the construction of a new soccer stadium, expansion of the Duke Energy Convention Center, the addition of a new headquarters hotel and the renovation of U.S. Bank Arena. 
"Cincinnati is at a critical time in our history as our destination wrestles with infrastructure issues to stay competitive in attracting conventions and leisure travelers," said Cincinnati's Mayor John Cranley. "Julie understands all the destination issues we face as a region and is uniquely suited to lead us in overcoming the challenges and capitalizing on every opportunity."