Friday, May 24, 2024

Brand USA Taps 30-Year Travel Industry Veteran Fred Dixon as Its New President & CEO

Must read

Brand USA Taps 30-Year Travel Industry Veteran Fred Dixon as Its New President & CEO

After a nearly 20-year tenure at NYC Tourism + Conventions, Fred Dixon has been appointed president and CEO of the U.S.’s official destination marketing organization, Brand USA, effective July 15. He is succeeding Christopher Thompson, who announced his retirement in July 2023 and has held the role of president and CEO since 2012.

Bringing more than 30 years of experience along with a proven track record of leadership in the travel industry to his new role, Dixon currently serves as president and CEO of NYC Tourism + Conventions, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, a role he will depart on June 5, according to NYC Tourism + Conventions officials.

Nancy Mammana, CMO of NYC Tourism + Conventions, has been named Interim CEO, and a search committee has been formed to lead the process of identifying and selecting a new CEO.  

Why it matters

NYC Tourism + Conventions CMO Nancy Mammana will serve as Interim CEO.

“This is a bittersweet moment for NYC Tourism + Conventions and the City’s tourism industry,” said Charles Flateman, NYC Tourism + Conventions Board Chair and executive vice president of the Shubert Organization. “For nearly 20 years, Fred Dixon has been synonymous with New York City tourism, the industry’s continued success and its impact on New York City.”

He continued, “His leadership and expertise created a template for excellence in destination marketing and the team of talented individuals who make the work possible. We are thrilled beyond measure for him in this new role and know that he will always be a champion for NYC.”   

In his new role at Brand USA, Dixon will oversee all of the organization’s operations as it prepares for its next phase of growth.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to serve as the next president and CEO of Brand USA,” Dixon said. “The U.S. is one of the world’s premiere travel destinations that will only continue to draw and delight visitors from across the globe, and we are well positioned for future growth and success. I want to thank Chris for his many years of leadership and his friendship. I look forward to joining this team and working across the industry to propel us forward.” 

Looking ahead

As Dixon prepares to take the helm this summer, Brand USA Board officials expressed excitement about the new perspectives the seasoned travel industry leader will bring to drive growth at the DMO. 

“We are delighted to welcome Fred as Brand USA’s next Chief Executive Officer,” said Todd Davidson, Brand USA Board Chair and CEO of Travel Oregon. “Fred brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from across the travel and tourism industry and his strategic, visionary and humble leadership proved that he is the right person to take Brand USA and the marketing of the USA’s rich and diverse destinations and experiences to even greater heights.” 

He added, “Brand USA’s ability to drive impact with stakeholders and optimize the travel industry’s critical economic contributions to the U.S. economy will prosper under Fred’s leadership.”

Back story

Dixon joined NYC Tourism + Conventions in 2005 as vice president, tourism, later rising among the ranks to become CEO in 2014. In this role, he has been responsible for developing and implementing New York City’s tourism, meetings and events strategy and programming to grow business and leisure travel from across the U.S. and from around the world. 

Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson has served as NYC Tourism + Convention’s president and CEO since 2012.

According to NYC Tourism + Conventions officials, Dixon has built a sales and marketing team that is at the core of the organization’s strategy to increase visitation and economic impact across the City. Under his tenure, international visitation has more than doubled to more than 13 million travelers – the result of a long-term strategy to create a global network of outposts comprising sales, marketing and press professionals in diverse feeder markets including Australia, China, Mexico, Brazil and the UK. Currently, New York City is represented in 17 overseas markets and active in nearly 40 locations globally, they added. 

A respected and dedicated leader committed to serving on travel industry association boards and committees, Dixon is also the current Chair of Destinations International, serves on the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation Board, the board of IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association, the U.S. Travel Association Executive Committee and is a trustee for the FIFA World Cup 2026 NYNJ Host Committee. 

As part of a planned succession process to facilitate a smooth leadership transition for Brand USA and its partners, Thompson will continue to work with the organization through Sept. 30 as an advisor.

“I am grateful for my time as the president and CEO of Brand USA, and I know that the future of the company will be in great hands with Fred at the helm along with the dedicated team and the Board,” Thompson said. “I will work closely with Fred and our Board of Directors to ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities.”

 

Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on LinkedIn!

Latest article