THE CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL REMEMBERS AN
PRESIDENT AND CEO EMERITUS, ATLANTA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Spurgeon Richardson retired from the Atlanta Convention & Visitors
Bureau (ACVB) in 2008 after 17 years at the helm of the organization –
the longest tenure of any president of ACVB. His career at ACVB followed
25 years with Six Flags Over Georgia, beginning in the marketing
department and spending most of that time as the park’s president and
The business model for destination marketing organizations changed
dramatically through Richardson’s leadership. During his tenure, ACVB
became one of the first bureaus in the country to develop a cultural tourism
department, launch a destination website, begin a diversity marketing
program, start a charitable foundation, implement a performance-based
compensation system and form a corporate development department.
Richardson served on U.S. Travel Association’s marketing outlook forum
planning committee in 2001 and was a member of the government affairs
committee from 2004-2006. He led ACVB to join U.S. Travel Association as
a Chairman’s Circle member in 2008 and served as a board representative
for the organization through 2008 as well.
Richardson also served as chair of the board of directors for International
Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (IACVB) in 2003-2004,
during which time he strengthened the visibility of industry professionals
by focusing efforts to integrate within the communities of travel and
tourism, business and industry associations. Because of Richardson’s
outreach, London and Paris joined IACVB and the organization expanded
its international presence.
Active in many professional organizations, some of Richardson’s career
highlights also include past chair for International Association of
Amusement Parks and Attractions, Georgia Hotel and Travel Association
and past president of Southeast Tourism Society. He was instrumental in
assisting with the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Richardson was inducted into the
Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2008, Destinations International Hall of
Fame in 2017 and U.S. Travel Association’s Hall of Leaders in 2018.
PHOTOS BY BYRON E. SMALL- ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE
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