Destination Marketing Association International hired executive recruiting firm SearchWide to assist in finding a new CEO.
Michael Gehrisch (left) resigned as DMAI CEO on Sept. 8.
DMAI COO Charles Jeffers will lead the organization in the interim while the organization determines the search process for a permanent CEO. The DMAI board and Destination & Travel Foundation trustees will take this up at an already scheduled planning session in October in Dallas. Austin (Texas) CVB CEO and current DMAI chairman Bob Lander said among the criteria will be an executive with association leadership related to the travel industry, but DMAI will be seeking input from the CVB community in developing the position's charactereistics.
No immediate changes to DMAI programming or meetings are expected.
Gehrisch had been in talks with the board about leaving DMAI for a couple of months leading up to his resignation. He will consult with DMAI while the search for a permanent CEO is conducted. Also, his plans are to tend to his family’s real estate investments and pursue opportunities in the hospitality industry technology space.
Gehrisch came to DMAI after stints as EVP of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and at Marriott Hotels. The organization rebranded as DMAI from the International Association of CVBs in 2005. Also under Gehrisch, the association created the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program and the Destination & Travel Foundation experienced significant growth. Successful Meetings magazine named him to its “Top 25 Most Influetial People” list.
Lander noted Gehrisch’s tenure had “a positive impact on the growth and respect of the destination marketing industry internationally.”