Diann Bayes, executive director of the McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB), has announced that in May she will leave her position to become Senior Vice President of Member Services for the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA).
In her new position, Bayes, who has been MCVB executive director for five years, will be in charge of managing TTIA’s member services and relations program, including member recruitment, development and retention, strategic business partnerships and sponsorships, and oversight of events and meetings.
“It’s an opportunity to tell the tourism story to the state of Texas and the citizens of Texas,” Bayes said. “I look forward to being able to talk about the importance of our industry.”
Bayes is a 16-year veteran of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. She started her career in the hotel industry at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth, before serving as executive director of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce and Hillsboro CVB. She also spent time as tourism sales manager for the Manhattan CVB in Kansas.
Bayes is board chair for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Tourism Council and serves on the Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus board of directors.
“Diann will be an excellent addition to the TTIA staff,” said Terri Adams, chair of the TTIA board of directors. “I look forward to all the experience she will bring to the great team already in place.”
David Teel, TTIA president and CEO, interviewed Bayes for the position.
“I am thrilled and pleased to have such a respected, experienced and qualified industry professional joining our team,” Teel stated in a release. “Diann will help us aggressively implement member-focused strategies and initiatives and ensure that we are proving daily that ‘life’s better in a state of travel’ for our members.”
During her time with MCVB, Bayes and her three-member staff tried to prove what makes life better in McKinney. Through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, and a MCVB smart-phone application, the bureau presented McKinney as a viable destination for travelers and tourists from all over.
“We were instrumental in introducing McKinney globally,” she said, referencing Chinese residents who had downloaded the app. “We have a global audience, and we’ve been a part of getting that message out. It’s the direction marketing has to go.”
Blogs, newsletters, frequent meeting planners guides and electronic weekend updates also help spread the word of McKinney happenings and attractions. The MCVB last year launched Bloomin’ and Boomin,’ a summer event slate that included numerous McKinney businesses and entities.
The MCVB produced marketing strategies and promotional projects that in recent years were highly recognized by their industry peers. It earned awards in advertising, tourism promotion, cooperative marketing, website and convention promotion.
Bayes said building up what was lost was the key to the MCVB’s recent success. Prior to her arrival, there was constant turnover at her position as executive director, destroying credibility with potential city partners, she said.
“Once they’ve seen so much turnover, you have to establish trust, and I think we’ve done a really great job,” she said. “I think we’ve helped identify a number of ambassadors who will help tell a positive story of what there is to see and do in McKinney.”
Bayes is confident those relationships and that trust will continue because her staff, who she called “the backbone of the CVB,” will remain to continue the same efforts.
Though excited about living in Austin, one of the few areas of Texas in which she hasn’t spent much time, Bayes said she will most miss the people of Collin County.
Her last day with the MCVB is May 18.
But McKinney is a part of TTIA membership, so her influence for the city should continue.
“I’ll still going to be in the travel industry, so I’ll have the opportunity to see the growth and success of the community as it moves forward,” she said. “I’ll be coming back to check and see what we can do to help.”