Claude Molinari Will Take the Helm of Detroit Metro CVB Jan. 1, 2021
Claude Molinari, general manager of TCF Center, has been chosen as the new president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, effective Jan. 1, 2021. He will succeed current president and CEO Larry Alexander, who is retiring at the end of 2020 after leading the DMCVB for 22 years.
In this role, Molinari will be responsible for developing the DMCVB’s strategic direction and overseeing its operations, providing the necessary leadership and direction to enable the organization to attract meetings and conventions, leisure and business visitors to metropolitan Detroit and accelerate economic growth. He will also lead the creation of the CVB’s annual sales and marketing plan that outlines its direction in attracting tourism and meetings business to the region.
Additionally, Molinari will oversee the direction of the Detroit Sports Commission, the DMCVB subsidiary responsible for securing amateur sports for the region.
According to Christina Lovio-George, DMCVB board member and chairperson for the search committee assigned with identifying a new CEO, 14 strong candidates from across the U.S. applied for the position.
“Claude is uniquely positioned to accept this new role,” she said. “He knows the DMCVB business; he understands the role of tourism, meetings and conventions as an economic driver in the region; and he intimately understands the challenges the tourism and hospitality industry are facing now as it deals with the impact of COVID-19.”
Lovio-George added that Molinari will be the 10th person to assume the CEO role, just as the CVB prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary next year.
“Looking toward the future, Claude’s deep understanding of the vital role the TCF Center plays in the overall economic health of the entire Detroit region will be invaluable as the partnership grows to new levels,” said Alexander, who is retaining his position as chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.
Molinari currently serves on the board of directors for the DMCVB and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers and the International Association of Events and Exhibitions.
“I am so excited to begin this new adventure representing the first-ever convention and visitors bureau in its 125th year of existence,” Molinari said. “Detroit and Southeast Michigan events and tourism [were] about to breakthrough into the national spotlight prior to the pandemic, and I believe we will be ready to do so again when some form of ‘new normalcy’ returns.”