- September 15, 2021
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A high-profile banking executive has been tapped as the new board chairman of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.
Kevin Lavender, who serves as head of commercial banking at Fifth Third Bank, will lead the visitors corp.’s board of directors, that represents sectors from both within and outside the hospitality industry to guide the sector’s rebound as an economic generator for the city and state.
Along with Lavender, the executive committee for fiscal year 2022 includes: Maneet Chauhan, executive chef and partner at Morph Hospitality, as chair elect; Robert Fisher, former president of Belmont University, as immediate past chair; Marcus Whitney, CEO and co-founder of Health:Further, as finance and audit committee chair; and Ellen Pryor, Frist Museum’s director of communications, as sales and marketing committee chair.
“We appreciate these distinguished leaders for sharing their experience and expertise as Nashville returns to its prominence as a top global destination,” Lavender said in a news release. “The board’s guidance will be instrumental as the industry works through labor shortages and other challenges to come back as a strong economic engine for Nashville and Tennessee.”
Nashville’s hospitality sector is working to rebound as the city, state and the world continues to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.
Music City remains one of the hottest travel destinations, attracting tourists within a drivable distance to international guests, given its entertainment options.
A record 16.1 million visitors traveled to Music City in 2019, and Nashville generated a record $7.5 billion in direct visitor spending, according to the visitors corp.
This year, Nashville hosted the Music City Grand Prix and FIFA World Cup Qualifier with USA v. Canada, as tourism continues to move on an upward trajectory.
The NCVC board of directors include: Patrick Chaffin, senior vice president of Asset Management, Ryman Hospitality Properties; John Esposito, chairman and CEO, Warner Music Group; Eddie George, head football coach, Tennessee State University; Jim Gingrich, managing partner, Elk Mountain Partners; Kevin Green, COO, Chartwell Hospitality; Ed Hardy, Hardy Media & Entertainment; Leesa LeClaire, general manager, Hilton Nashville Airport Hotel; Ken Levitan, president, Vector Management; Kimberly Lewis, owner, Emerson Grace; Pat Martin, Martin Investment Group; Burke Nihill, president and CEO, Tennessee Titans; Dr. Jonathan Perlin, president/chief medical officer, HCA; and Brian Tibbs, partner, Moody Nolan.