Dennis Edwards, President and CEO
Denny Edwards is the President and CEO for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. As the President and CEO, he works to promote Raleigh and Wake County, N.C., as a tourist and meetings destination. The Greater Raleigh CVB has a full-time staff of 28 and an annual budget of $6.8 million.
Edwards currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina and serves on the Board of the Directors as treasurer for the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Coalition. He serves on the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Board of Directors, East Carolina University School of Hospitality Leadership Advisory Board as Co-Chair, Wake County Economic Development Board of Directors and the Raleigh City Club Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Raleigh Rotary Club.
Edwards served as the Convention Industry Council APEX Commissioner, on the Board and Foundation Board for the American Society of Association Executives, on the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Foundation Board of Trustees and DMAI Board of Directors and on the Professional Convention Management Association Foundation Board. He served on the Advertising and Marketing Committee for Visit Florida and the Meeting Professionals International Multi-cultural Initiative Committee.
He has also served on the International Association of Exhibitions and Events Exhibitor Advisory Council and is a past President for the Florida Chapter, was the Communications Chair for the Professional Convention Management Association and past Board member for the Florida Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
Denny received the Business Leader 2009 Triangle Mover and Shaker Award.
Prior to joining the Greater Raleigh CVB in 2007, Edwards served as the Senior Vice President for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau for 10 years. A 34-year CVB veteran, Edwards was also the Director of Sales for the Greater Houston CVB and, prior to that, served as the Director of Sales for the Palm Springs Desert Resorts CVB.
Loren J. Gold, Executive Vice President
Loren Gold is the Executive Vice President for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. As the Executive Vice President, Gold is responsible for leading the development of strategic sales and marketing programs, including brand management, market research, marketing communications, IT, advertising and public affairs.
Gold is member of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Technology Committee, the Professional Convention Management Association and Meeting Professionals International. He is Chair of the Triangle Regional Film Commission and is a past Chair of the DMAI Sales and Marketing Committee. He is a biannual guest lecturer at East Carolina University's School of Hospitality Management.
With more than 20 years of senior sales management experience, Gold previously held positions in the Washington, D.C., area as Director of National Sales in Wyndham International's National Sales Office, as well as National Sales Manager for Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
Gold founded City Reps Inc., the country's first company dedicated exclusively to multiple CVB representation. He generated meeting and tradeshow business leads for Bureaus in Cincinnati, Houston, Long Beach, Memphis, Minneapolis, Providence and San Jose.
Gold joined the Greater Raleigh CVB in 2005 as the Director of Sales, before being promoted to his current position in 2007.
Gold resides in Apex, N.C., with his wife and three children. He is a graduate of Arizona State University.
D. Scott Dupree
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GREATER RALEIGH SPORTS ALLIANCE
Scott Dupree is Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA), a division of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. In that capacity, he is responsible for promoting Raleigh, Cary and Wake County as a premier destination for sporting events.
In 2014, Dupree was named CVB and Sports Commission Professional of the Year by Connect Sports. In 2015, GRSA was named Sports Tourism Organization of the Year (for population 250,000 and above) by the National Association of Sports Commissions.
Over the past five years, GRSA has helped bring more than 340 sporting events to the Raleigh area, resulting in more than 540,000 hotel room-nights and $180 million in visitor spending.
Dupree is currently chair of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Local Organizing Committee, a position he also held for the 2014 NCAA tournament. He served as Co-Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend, which was rated by many observers as the most successful All-Star Weekend in league history. In previous years, he chaired host committees for the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds and the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball Regional, played at PNC Arena.
Recently, Dupree directed the city's successful efforts to bring both the IRONMAN 70.3 series and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series to Raleigh. The IRONMAN event debuted in spring 2013 and registered the fastest sell-out in the history of the 70.3 series, with athletes from 43 states and 15 countries. The inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon and Half Marathon debuted in Apr. 2014 and was a sellout with 12,500 runners from around the world.
Previously, Dupree coordinated Raleigh's two successful bids for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Basketball Tournament, which was held in Raleigh for six years, from 2000-2005, and for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Tournament, from 2006-2008.
Dupree also coordinated the region's bid for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and worked closely with the Carolina Hurricanes on hosting the event. GRSA also partnered with Town of Cary, North Carolina State University, Campbell University and Capital Area Soccer League to help bring 11 NCAA College Cups to WakeMed Soccer Park from 2003 through 2015.
GRSA is closely associated with efforts to bring the N.C. High School Athletic Association state championships to Raleigh; the Great American Cross Country Festival to Cary; the Deep South Classic (girls basketball) to Raleigh; the State Games of N.C. to the Triangle; and dozens of other events that have generated economic impact.
Prior to joining the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1994, Dupree was the Director of Communications and Marketing for the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill's Bicentennial Observance.
Dupree worked for 11 years in collegiate athletics at Arizona State University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina. He has worked at numerous ACC Tournaments, NCAA basketball and baseball regionals, college bowl games, the College World Series and the Final Four.
Dupree is a 1986 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism. He and his wife, Wendy, live in Apex with their two children, Davis and Savannah.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GREATER RALEIGH SPORTS ALLIANCE
Tori Collins is the Associate Director for the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, a division of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. As the Associate Director, she works closely with the Executive Director to promote Raleigh, Cary and Wake County as a premier destination for sporting events.
Collins focuses primarily upon sporting events involving the N.C. High School Athletic Association, AAU sports, Raleigh Convention Center Sports Events, Baseball, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Tennis and Wrestling.
She is a past Chairman of the North Carolina Sports Association and is a Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE).
Prior to joining the Greater Raleigh CVB in 1999, Collins worked in the marketing and public relations department at the Nokia Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Collins is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she worked as a sports information student assistant in the Athletics Department.
Collins lives in Wake Forest with her husband, Brad, and two children, Colt and Brady.
Jonathan Freeze, CDME, CHIA, Director of Marketing and Communications
Jonathan Freeze, CDME, CHIA, is Director of Marketing and Communications for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is responsible for the Bureau's integrated marketing communications strategy, including advertising, destination awareness, marketing research, Internet presence, area hospitality business partnership initiatives, paid marketing promotions and programs and CVB photography and video resources.
Freeze served as Marketing Committee Co-Chair for the Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina (DMANC) from 2010 to 2013 and was a member of the Event Impact Calculator Festivals and Cultural Events Task Force for the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in 2016. Freeze also recently served on the Raleigh Arts Plan Steering Committee (2014-2015).
Under his leadership, his marketing teams have won numerous Destination Marketing Achievement Awards from DMANC/N.C. Tourism Industry Association as well as two Adrian Awards from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and a Destiny Award from the National Council of Destination Organizations.
In 2014 Freeze earned DMAI's Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) credential, which signals the destination marketing industry's highest educational achievement. In 2015 he earned the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) jointly offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and STR; CHIA is the only certification for industry professionals focused on hotel-related analytics.
Freeze brings 16 years of destination marketing industry-specific experience to his current work promoting Raleigh, N.C. Prior to joining the Greater Raleigh CVB in 2008, he was Director of Marketing Research and Brand Management for the Durham (N.C.) Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Freeze has a B.A. degree in classics from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and reading classical literature is still a favorite pastime for him.