by Tom Isler | May 01, 2006

A new era began at the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau when Tim Roby joined the organization to serve as president in April.
    Greg Saunders, chairman of the CCTB board, said Roby’s appointment was one of several key reasons he’s enthusiastic about the state of the bureau and the city itself. He also pointed to convention center McCormick Place’s West Building being ahead of schedule in construction, and between 2,000 and 3,000 new hotel rooms opening in the city in the next three years.
    The CCTB itself, however, is in flux. Since March 2005, eight directors or vice presidents have left the bureau.
    Saunders said one of Roby’s first tasks will be to determine how to fill or reallocate two vice president positions in marketing and sales (vacated by Bill Utter in February and Mark Tester last summer, respectively).
    Saunders denied that the bureau has been destabilized, but the rash of departures has left him reminding people the bureau still exists. “The bureau is still open for business,” he joked. “I haven’t had anyone call where nobody answered the phone.”