Brown heads sales team luring conventions here

Cincinnati executive has hotel background

Conventions

January 11, 2000|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association has hired a new vice president to lead its sales team for convention sales and services. Gary W. Brown, most recently the director of sales and marketing at the Westin Cincinnati, assumed his new duties yesterday.

"I've always thought of Baltimore as a vibrant and dynamic city, and I look forward to selling it as a destination," said Brown. "I look forward to bringing Baltimore to the next level and having it viewed as a first-tier convention destination."

Brown brings 25 years of hotel and convention center sales and services experience to Baltimore. He has extensive experience working with convention centers the size of Baltimore's.

"I see Baltimore as a very attractive place for a conventioneer because there are so many things to do," he said. "It's a city that's on the move as far as a convention destination."

While getting to know the area, Brown will spend three nights in seven hotels.

One of Brown's first projects will be to evaluate the competition, to see what the Baltimore center offers in comparison, he said.

He also wants to make sure that the sales team is presenting a unified message in its sales efforts.

"I am thrilled to have Gary Brown as a member of BACVA's team," said Carroll R. Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of BACVA.

"Gary has an outstanding reputation in the hotel and meetings industry, and his vast experience in every area of the industry is just what Baltimore needs to take it to the next level in the new millennium."

Before assuming his position with the Westin, Brown worked with chain and independent hotels.

For six years, he served as director of sales at Colonial Williamsburg Hotel Properties Inc. in Williamsburg, Va.

Before that, he was director of sales and marketing at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City in Arlington, Va. As director of sales for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts from 1982 to 1988, Brown was responsible for properties in Arlington; Washington; Shaumburg, Ill.; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Brown, 49, is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association.

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