Butch Spyridon, Nashville’s lead tourism executive who was crucial in Music City’s meteoric ascent, is stepping back.
His longtime second-in-command Deana Ivey will take over as president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau on July 1. Spyridon has secured a two-year consulting contract to continue advising the nonprofit NCVC as it works to attract more international travelers and major events.
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ralph Schulz said Spyridon’s vision has been essential to making the city an engine creating one-third of Tennessee’s tourism revenue.
“Rarely in this industry does one person have the impact and influence Butch has had on Nashville’s growth,” Schulz said. “As evidenced in the value and community the NCVC has created under his 32 years of leadership, Butch’s vision helped build Nashville into the world-class city it is today. The region’s business community thanks Butch for his service, and we look forward to continuing our decades-long partnership with the NCVC.”
This transition is a landmark in a career that spans several eras in the city’s history. Spyridon’s work was crucial to attracting the Tennessee Titans, building Music City Center and turning the downtown New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July events into major attractions, among other accomplishments.
“Butch has touched a lot of things in this city. He is a visionary,” said NCVC Board Chair Kevin Lavender. “He’s the one who changed our branding from Country Music USA to Music City. The board has been behind him 100%.”
Spyridon’s wild success over the past 32 years has been a double-edged sword. He is now working to clean up the raucous downtown nightlife scene, which has grown into an $8.8 billion-a-year enterprise.
He’s also working on a deal for a new NFL stadium, and to attract the Super Bowl, WrestleMania, Rugby World Cup and new international flights at Nashville airport.
“As I begin to reflect on my tenure, without question, my greatest professional accomplishment is the team we have assembled at the NCVC,” Spyridon said in a statement. “They are second to none. I will treasure every moment as we work together these next six months. And anyone who knows me knows I won’t be slowing down.”
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: butch–spyridon–nashville-convention-and-visitors-corp-executive-retiring-deana-ivey/69825545007/” data-ylk=”slk:Nashville’s top tourism exec to step back as city’s profile rises” class=”link “>Nashville’s top tourism exec to step back as city‘s profile rises
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