Brent DeRaad Departing Visit Tucson; Felipe Garcia Named Interim President & CEO

Brent DeRaad, Visit Tucson’s President & CEO for the past nine years, announced his resignation today to become the President & CEO of the Arlington (Texas) Convention & Visitors Bureau.

DeRaad will continue to serve in his current capacity in Tucson through Nov. 26. The board has begun a search for DeRaad’s replacement.

“My thanks to Brent for his many accomplishments at Visit Tucson,” said John Denker, Visit Tucson’s Board Chair.  “Under his leadership, Visit Tucson grew leisure, meetings and sports travel to our region by embracing and promoting what makes Tucson unique.  “We also appreciate his deep involvement in several Tucson non-profits, along with his leadership on Arizona tourism issues.  We wish him much success in Arlington.”

In his time as President & CEO, DeRaad served in leadership roles for the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and Destination Marketing Association of the West (DMA West). Additionally, he served as a board member of both the Arizona Bowl college football bowl game, and of the Tucson Conquistadores, which stages the city’s annual PGA TOUR Champions event.  He is also a member of the Arizona Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council. 

In 2019, DeRaad was honored as a “Father of The Year” by the Father’s Day Council Tucson, which annually benefits Type 1 Diabetes research at the UArizona Steele Children’s Research Center.

DeRaad’s time at Visit Tucson is also noted for increased bed tax revenue, the development of a ten-year tourism master plan, navigating the numerous challenges of the pandemic era, leveraging the first American UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation, the revitalization of Tucson’s film industry, and significant increases in tourism-related national and international media coverage, among numerous other accomplishments by his team.

Visit Tucson’s Board of Directors has named Felipe Garcia the organization’s Interim President & CEO.  Garcia has worked for Visit Tucson for 17 years, including serving as the company’s Executive Vice President for the past nine years.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a knowledgeable leader in Felipe already on our team,” said Denker.  “Brent has assembled a highly talented and capable leadership team, including Felipe, who will serve as Interim President & CEO,” Denker added. “This will ensure continuity while we conduct a search for a permanent replacement.”

 ABOUT VISIT TUCSON

Visit Tucson’s mission is to drive economic development by connecting visitors with their ideal travel & meetings experiences in Tucson. Visit Tucson is financially supported by the City of Tucson, Pima County, the Town of Oro Valley and more than 450 individual and business partners. More information at VisitTucson.org.

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