CHICAGO - The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB) added another key member to its new leadership team by announcing that Warren Wilkinson has been named as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications. Wilkinson, 51 years-old, previously served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association (ICVA).
"Chicago has within its reach the opportunity to become the dominant market for the global visitor industry by virtue of its assets and the sweeping reforms put into place. Capturing that title will require a lot of hard work, energy and vision. And most importantly, it will require the right team," said Don Welsh, CCTB President and CEO. "Warren is a critical piece of that team. I've worked with him and I know he is incredibly talented and results-driven. I am excited that like me, Warren sees the potential that lies within Chicago, the great American city."
During his tenure at the ICVA, Wilkinson led significant marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns to increase visitation to Indianapolis. In 2009, the economic impact of the advertising campaign was over $145 million and in 2010 that number increased to over $269 million with over 379,000 incremental trips created with a return of investment of $225 of economic impact for every dollar of advertising spent. Additionally, the organization's public relations efforts netted over 2,300 stories placed with over 600 million impressions generated with an ad value of over $15 million.
"I'm honored to be in Chicago, a city with endless potential to become a power player on a global stage with respect to our visitor industry," said Wilkinson. "I look forward to putting my skills and experience to work by forging strong partnerships with Chicago's vibrant corporate, arts and culture community, leveraging outside resources to drive more economic growth for our city and state."
In addition to his successful tenure with the ICVA, Wilkinson brings more than a decade of experience in the airline industry, having served in key marketing and communications positions for Republic Airways, the largest regional airline company in the world. A seasoned corporate communicator, Wilkinson previously served in a leadership role for Edelman Public Relations. His experience also includes management-level marketing positions with several hotels and resorts.
Wilkinson will report directly to Don Welsh. He will officially begin his new role on March 2, 2011.
The Chicago visitor industry is directly responsible for 125,000 jobs resulting in $587 million in tax revenue that supports education, healthcare, public safety and other public services and $10.2 billion in direct spending by visitors on food, entertainment, transportation and shopping.