Press Releases

Houston First, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau Join Forces

Houston • June 16, 2014

Houston First Corporation (HFC) and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) have officially joined forces as a single, clear voice for the City of Houston. The proposal for the structural alignment of the two organizations has been approved by the GHCVB’s executive committee and board of directors, as well as the board of Houston First. The alignment will create a central, one-stop organization promoting Houston as a prime convention and tourism destination. 

“Houston is a world-class city, and the alignment of our two great organizations will help position it for a bright future,” said Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of HFC. “The combined efforts of both teams will continue as a major economic generator for the entire region.”

“The GHCVB board of directors is looking forward to working closely with HFC to bring this vision to life,” said Sonia Garza-Monarchi, chairwoman of the GHCVB Board of Directors. “Our two boards have collaborated on this alignment for some time, and we feel it has great potential.”

The structure of the newly aligned organizations will encourage collaboration and a consistent, cohesive vision for the Houston product. Current employees of the GHCVB will become employees of HFC and there are no plans to lay off staff from either organization. The GHCVB’s board of directors and executive committee will remain intact and will recommend four candidates to Mayor Parker for inclusion on the Houston First board.

“This alignment will create the most effective sales effort Houston has ever seen—one that will serve as a model for the rest of the country to follow,” said Ric Campo, chairman of the HFC Board of Directors. “The team will be solely focused on the Houston pitch, and there will be more attention paid to Houston as a destination than ever before.”

HFC and GHCVB partnering organizations will now work with one group in the area of economic development, tourism, convention business and the arts. This will streamline the decision-making process and create greater efficiency. Earlier this month, the board of the Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Houston voted unanimously to support the proposal.

The mission of HFC is to enhance the quality of life of Houstonians and to advance the economic prosperity and development of Houston through its services, attractions and venues. HFC remains committed to the further development of the entire region.