Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Industry Briefs

Charlene Lopez, veteran hospitality sales leader and vice president of sales at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), will be promoted to executive vice president and chief sales officer for the organization beginning Jan. 1, 2024. She will succeed Mark Vaughan who announced his plans to retire at the end of the year.

In this role, Lopez will be responsible for efforts to increase visitation to Atlanta through the development and implementation of all sales programs for ACVB. She will oversee trade show sales, in-house sales, international tourism sales and convention services, establishing strategy for each and ensuring their objectives align with the corporate strategy. Lopez will also maintain partnerships with hotels and convention facilities and serve as the sales liaison to ACVB's executive committee and board of directors.

"Charlene knows our destination and team and has a history of success at ACVB," said William Pate, president and CEO, ACVB. "She has been preparing for this opportunity her entire career, and I am confident she will take our sales and services teams to the next level."

"Charlene's leadership, dedication and commitment to Atlanta's hospitality industry has been instrumental in positioning Atlanta as one of the country's most popular destinations," said Vaughan. "I am incredibly proud of her and look forward to her success in this role." 

Lopez will be the highest-ranking woman in the organization's history, serving as the first female C-level executive since ACVB was established 110 years ago. She joined ACVB in June 2012 as sales manager, national accounts, focusing on association and corporate business. She was promoted to director of citywide sales in September 2019 and became vice president of sales in July 2021.

Her career also includes roles with Omni Hotel at CNN Center as director of sales, associate director of sales at Hyatt Regency Atlanta and associate director of sales, sales manager and business travel manager at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.

Lopez is chair of the Industry Partner Alliance committee for American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and sits on Maritz's DMO Customer Advisory Board. Previously, she served as director of sponsorship for Professional Convention Management Association's (PCMA) Southeast chapter and was a board member for International Association of Exhibitions and Events' (IAEE) Southeast chapter.

Originally from San Antonio, Lopez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and received a master's degree in human resource management from Tarleton State University. She and her husband Chris have five children.

About Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau 

Established in 1913, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the city and serves to favorably impact Atlanta's economy through conventions and tourism. Visit  and @discoveratlanta on social media for more information.