Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: March April 2012


Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant, CAE, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Travel Association. Tennant will be an at-large director serving from 2012 - 2014. He will officially start his new term at the spring board meeting on March 23, held in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Travel Association collaborates with everyone that uses travel to grow their business beyond what an individual can do. The Board of Directors oversees and governs the business of the association, votes on organization decisions and oversees the disbursement of monetary funds.

Tennant has been the president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, since 2008, and CEO of Meet Minneapolis’ software affiliate, iDSS, since 2007. Tennant has proved himself a leader in the travel industry with his current involvement on the boards of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Airport Foundation MSP and the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA). He also has previous experience on the boards of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Center for Association Leadership, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the MPI Foundation, and is a past chairman of the Destination Marketing Association International.

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The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) has selected John Rolfe as chief operating officer, a new position for the organization. Reporting directly to president and CEO Greg Ortale, Rolfe will lead the day-to-day operations of the GHCVB, including overseeing programs to develop alternative revenue sources.

Rolfe comes to Houston from his position as president and CEO of Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau, a post he's held since 2001. Before joining Go Wichita, Rolfe was vice president of economic development for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and served as deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce for five years. His experience also includes more than 15 years in the hospitality industry, serving as director of finance and administration at both the Wichita and San Jose (CA) Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

"I'm supremely pleased to have John on board," said Ortale. "The breadth of his experience will be a major asset to this organization. As CEO of Go Wichita, he has a solid grasp of the challenges facing destination marketing organizations. He will also enable me to focus more strategically on top-level initiatives and projects."

Rolfe is a graduate of Wichita State University, holding a bachelor's degree in business administration and is involved with various civic organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, Travel Industry Association of Kansas, Destination Marketing Association International and Wichita Collegiate School. Rolfe also is a member of the Wichita State University Board of Trustees. Rolfe is married to Felicia Crowley-Rolfe and they have two daughters, Evan and Erin.