LITTLE ROCK, Ark (February 24, 2022) - The Little Rock Advertising & Promotion (LRA&P) Commission has named Gina Gemberling as the next President & CEO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB). Current President & CEO, Gretchen Hall, recently announced she would be departing the post on March 22 to take on the role of Chief Operating Officer for Destinations International.
The LRA&P Commission made the announcement after an executive session called during their February meeting on Wednesday. Chairman Jim Keet stated, “The hospitality industry is complex and evolving rapidly. A seasoned professional with decades of experience in every facet of the business is hard to find and Gina was a perfect fit. She is not only respected by her peers, commissioners, and the staff, but she has done an excellent job in her senior leadership role at LRCVB for the past four years, and I am a firm believer in hiring from within the organization when an existing employee is ready to fill a vacancy. By making this decision we are able to capitalize on her experience and organizational knowledge as well as create a smooth transition in leadership and maximize the time before Gretchen’s departure.”
Gemberling joined the LRCVB in January 2018 as Vice President of Sales and Services and was promoted to Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing in the fall of 2020. She is a 30-year tourism veteran and Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME). She started her career in the hotel industry prior to joining the Springfield Illinois Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) in 1993 where she served until relocating to assume a role with the LRCVB team in 2018. During her 24 years at the SCVB, Gina served in various sales and marketing roles, then four years as the organization’s Executive Director.
As LRCVB’s Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Gina oversees the sales and marketing divisions to create and execute strategies to positively position Little Rock as a destination for meetings, events, and leisure travel. She is currently helping lead a tourism master plan and organizational strategic plan initiative that will identify competitive positioning, tourism infrastructure needs, and programmatic gaps that will guide long-term planning and development for both Little Rock and the LRCVB.
LRA&P Commission Finance Chair, Nick Roye noted, “From my 10 years in the hospitality industry, I can say the leadership role at LRCVB has a steep learning curve and I can also say that Gina fits this role perfectly.”
Gemberling noted, “I am honored to be selected to lead the LRCVB and appreciate the confidence and support of the Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission.” She continued to say, “I want to thank Gretchen for her leadership, and building the durable organization that withstood the pandemic and positioned the LRCVB on the path to emerge stronger than before. I am fortunate to represent a destination that is ideal for both convention and leisure travelers and work alongside a team of dedicated industry sales, marketing and service professionals that will continue to help guide Little Rock’s destination marketing organization and facilities.”
Gemberling’s official appointment is contingent upon commission approval of contractual terms, which will be finalized at the next meeting.