Thomas P. (Tom) Murray has been named chief executive officer of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), which is responsible for promoting hospitality, tourism and conventions throughout the Charlotte, N.C., region.
The 200-employee CRVA has an operational budget of $50 million, which includes marketing and new business development programs as well as management of Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte Convention Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Murray has 30 years of international hotel and hospitality executive experience, resulting in a strong expertise in hotel operations, finance, sales, branding, marketing, real estate and franchise development, hotel construction, human resources and strategic planning and execution. His experience spans hands-on management of hotel properties to strategic planning for multinational corporations.
For more than six years, Murray served in executive management positions with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) of Atlanta, where he rose to the position of chief operating officer for the Americas. Under his leadership, Intercontinental experienced a historic period of growth, including the acquisition of Candlewood and creation of Hotel Indigo.
Murray managed hotels for Intercontinental in 23 countries including a large operation in the U.S. and was responsible for revenues of $2 billion. He also managed development and construction, including the successful development of new prototypes for Holiday Inn and Intercontinental.
Prior to joining InterContinental Hotels, Murray served with Red Lion Hotels for three years as senior vice president for Hilton Hotel Corporation. He directed the dramatic growth of the brand from nine to 56 hotels before the brand was sold to West Coast Hospitality. Murray oversaw all areas of operation, strategic planning, branding, marketing and development.
Murray also served as vice president for franchise development for Promus Hotels Corporation of Memphis, where he worked with numerous leading hotel brands, including Doubletree Hotels, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn. During his seven years with Promus, Murray’s responsibilities included franchise management and development of company-owned and -managed hotels.
Before joining the CRVA, Murray served as chief executive officer of Lindblad Expeditions of New York, where he led a financial and marketing turnaround of the 30-year-old, ship-based expedition cruise business that operates in alliance with National Geographic. Through his leadership and the support of a private equity firm and two other senior members of the corporate staff, Lindblad was restored to financial and operational health.
Following graduation from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, Murray worked with the Marriott Hotels Corporation in Bethesda, Md., for more than nine years in various operations and accounting positions. He served as assistant controller and controller for numerous Marriott properties, including the first Marriott property in Canada. Murray and his wife, Alison, have two daughters.
Board Members Fiscal Year 2012:
Joseph F. Hallow "Joe" (Chair)
President & COO
Vinay Patel (Vice Chair)
Senior VP of Operations and Sales
J. Michael McGuire (Treasurer)
Rai Glover (Secretary)
Vigilant Healthcare Staffing, LLC
Springs Creative Products Group
Vice President/General Manager
Sports Enthusiast Financial Guy
The Westin Charlotte
DNC Host Committee Liaison
Thomas Harper Sasser
Harper's Restaurants, Inc.
Russell F. Sizemore
K&L Gates LLP