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Tom Murray

Tom Murray
Chief Executive Officer
Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Thomas P. (Tom) Murray has been named chief executive officer of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), which is responsible for promoting hospitality, tourism and conventions throughout the Charlotte, N.C. region.

The 200-employee CRVA has an operational budget of $50 million, which includes marketing and new business development programs as well as management of Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte Convention Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Murray has 30 years of international hotel and hospitality executive experience, resulting in a strong expertise in hotel operations, finance, sales, branding, marketing, real estate and franchise development, hotel construction, human resources, and strategic planning and execution. His experience spans hands-on management of hotel properties to strategic planning for multi-national corporations.

For more than six years, Murray served in executive management positions with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) of Atlanta, where he rose to the position of chief operating officer for the Americas. Under his leadership, Intercontinental experienced a historic period of growth, including the acquisition of Candlewood and creation of Hotel Indigo.

Murray managed hotels for Intercontinental in 23 countries including a large operation in the U.S. and was responsible for revenues of $2 billion. He also managed development and construction, including the successful development of new prototypes for Holiday Inn and Intercontinental.

Prior to joining InterContinental Hotels, Murray served with Red Lion Hotels for three years as senior vice president for Hilton Hotel Corporation. He directed the dramatic growth of the brand from nine to 56 hotels before the brand was sold to West Coast Hospitality. Murray oversaw all areas of operation, strategic planning, branding, marketing and development.

Murray also served as vice president for franchise development for Promus Hotels Corporation of Memphis where he worked with numerous leading hotel brands, including Doubletree Hotels, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suite and Hampton Inn. During his seven years with Promus, Murray’s responsibilities included franchise management and development of company owned and managed hotels.

Before joining the CRVA, Murray served as chief executive officer of Lindblad Expeditions of New York, where he led a financial and marketing turnaround of the 30-year-old, ship-based expedition cruise business that operates in alliance with National Geographic. Through his leadership and the support of a private equity firm and two other senior members of the corporate staff, Lindblad was restored to financial and operational health.

Following graduation from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy, Murray worked with the Marriott Hotels Corporation in Bethesda, Md. for more than nine years in various operations and accounting positions. He served as assistant controller and controller for numerous Marriott properties, including the first Marriott property in Canada. Murray and his wife, Alison, have two daughters.

Board Members Fiscal Year 2014: 

Executive Committee

Chairman - Vinay Patel
Vice-Chairman - Chuck Allen
Budget Officer - Tom Henson
Secretary - Russ Sizemore
Sports Liaison - Larry Huelsman

Chuck Allen
(Strategic Planning Committee)
US Airways

Sabrina Brown
(Strategic Planning Committee) 
Sabrina Brown Realty and Advisory Services  

Bill DeLoache
(Audit & Compliance Committee)
Double Tree by Hilton

Bridget-Ann Hampden
(Audit & Compliance Committee)
U.S. Department of Education

Venessa Harrison 
(Budget Committee)

Tom Henson 
(Budget Committee)
Henson-Tomlin Interests, LLC

Larry Huelsman
(Budget Committee)
Sports Enthusiast Financial Guy

Paul Jamison
(Budget Committee)
Jamison Realty

Will Miller
(Audit & Compliance Committee)

Vinay Patel
(Board Chair, Strategic Planning Committee)
SREE Hotels

Russell F. Sizemore
(Audit & Compliance Committee)
Moore & Van Allen

Mary Tribble
(Budget Committee)

Visitor Advisory Committee

Chaired by Mike Henninger of Multiexport Foods and comprised of industry leaders throughout the region, this committee is given the opportunity to give feedback to the CRVA's leadership team to help in it success. Roles and responsibilities of the VAC include:

  • Communicate to CRVA stakeholder organizations concerning CRVA activities
  • Participate on CRVA taskforces and committees
  • Offer feedback on CRVA performance and planning
Participants on the VAC are:

Mike Henninger, VAC Chair 
Multiexport Foods 

Chuck Allen
US Airways

Clarke Allen
Charlotte Arrangements

John Boyer
Bechtler Arts Foundation

Frank L. Bryant
Poyner & Spruill

Robert Bush
Arts and Science Council

Steve Camp
Consultant, The Salvation Army

Scott Cooper
Charlotte Motor Speedway

Fred Dabney

Natalie Dick
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

Dee Dixon 
Pride Communications

Toni Freeman 
The Mint Museum

Tom Gabbard
NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Jim Garges
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

Haley Gentry
Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Kavita Gupta 
Bank of America - Merrill Lynch

Larry Huelsman
CRVA Board Representative 
Sports Enthusiast Financial Guy

Hillary Cooper
The Mint Museum 

Mohammad Jenatian

Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

Ron Kimble
City of Charlotte

Nick Konawalik
Charlotte 49ers Athletics

Kimberly Melton
Hospitality House of Charlotte

James Mitchell, Jr.  
Charlotte City Council

Ash Munro 
Total Event Production 

Kara Newport
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Scott Paul
Panthers Stadium

Moira Quinn
Charlotte Center City Partners

Tyler Ream
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education

Bill Russell
Lake Norman Chamber

Bobbie Shields
Mecklenburg County

Sid Smith
Charlotte Area Hotel Association

Todd Stewart
Show Pros Entertainment Services

Jim Taylor
Town of Matthews

Melissa Vrana
Central Piedmont Community College 

Ann-Marie Weldon
Johnson & Wales University

Lynn Wheeler
Wheeler Communication Group

Jeff Wise

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Emily Zimmern
Levine Museum of the New South

Charlotte Convention Center
A premier meeting facility offering a plethora of features and services for conventions, tradeshows, meetings and conferences.
Time Warner Cable Arena
One of America’s best entertainment and sports venues, with professional and college sporting competitions, concerts and family events!
Ovens Auditorium
Adjacent to Bojangles' Coliseum, Ovens boasts Broadway shows, symphony concerts, opera, dance, and nationally known speakers.
Bojangles' Coliseum
From concerts and regional dance competitions to musicals and comedy shows, Bojangles' Coliseum houses a diverse range of events for all ages.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
This state-of-the-art facility honors NASCAR icons and pays tribute to those who have impacted the sport in the past, present and yet to come.
Educational Foundation
Providing educational and professional development opportunities for those interested in committing to a career in the travel and hospitality industry.