One-time mailroom clerk rises to VP at Houston First's downtown convention center
Houston, TX – December 6, 2016 – John Gonzalez, the longtime director of event and guest services at the George R. Brown Convention Center, has been promoted to the new vice president position at Houston First Corporation’s downtown convention complex.
An inspiring success story, Gonzalez has worked up through the ranks of Houston First and its predecessor organizations, where he started in the mail room in 1997. (His career was documented in a news story reported by KHOU-Channel 11, shown above.)
In his new role, Gonzalez will assist HFC Chief Operating Officer Luther Villagomez in the administration of the George R. Brown and its central role in shaping the new Avenida Houston convention and entertainment district.
Gonzalez will interface with business representatives, organizations, suppliers, contractors, advisory committees, show promoters and contractor services. In addition, his successor over event and guest services will report to him.
“John’s customer service skills and attention to detail are integral to the success of events at the George R. Brown,” said Villagomez, the top executive at the convention center. “One of the core principles at Houston First is to deliver unparalleled customer service and John provides this every single day.
“With the ongoing development of our Avenida Houston campus and the Super Bowl coming soon, it is critical to have a steady right-hand man to help steer us through challenging logistics,” Villagomez added.
After starting in the mail room in 1997, Gonzalez was named maintenance supervisor at Wortham Center, where he was the organization’s Employee of the Year in 2002. He was transferred to the George R. Brown in 2005 as an event manager and was recognized as a Team Player for outstanding workplace performance in 2006. He was promoted to lead the event and guest services division in 2008.
Gonzalez, 39, is a native Houstonian and served his country in the U.S. Army. After completing his original three-year hitch, he was active Army reservist for many years in southwestern Asia and other duty stations.
ABOUT HOUSTON FIRST CORPORATION
Houston First operates the city's finest convention and arts facilities to position Houston as a world-class destination. In 2014, Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau aligned operations to create a single voice representing the city under the brand Visit Houston. Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, manages the George R. Brown Convention Center and 10 city-owned properties and is a driving force in developing the new Avenida Houston entertainment district. Learn more at HoustonFirst.com and VisitHouston.com.