When long-time industry player Bob Lander retires from his position as president and CEO of the Austin (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau this summer, Tom Noonan, current president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, will take his place.
Lander came to the Austin bureau in 2001 after working with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau and spending more than 20 years in hotel sales, marketing and management.
Noonan, who joined Visit Baltimore in 2007, is noted for steering the bureau through the difficult times in June 2015 following death of Freddie Gray in police custody, and he worked hard to bring meetings and tourists back. He is very familiar with Texas, having spent 18 years at the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau in sales, services and convention-marketing positions.
Austin is getting a new bureau chief at a busy time for hospitality and meetings in the city. The 1,060-room Fairmont Austin Hotel, which will be connected to the Austin Convention Center by skyway, will join the 800-room Hilton Austin and 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin to serve meetings large and small. Kimpton's 319-room Hotel Van Zandt opened last November with 12,000 square feet of meeting space. The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center has renovated its 297 rooms and will add some 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, to its current 40,000 square feet by July 2017.