Thurs., Aug. 16, 2018 10am-1:30pm Raleigh Convention Center

Strategy Session (free): 10-11:15am
Luncheon: 11:45am


This is the second in a series of Annual Meetings related to Wake County’s new Destination Strategic Plan (DSP). GRCVB’s 2017 luncheon marked the kickoff of this project, conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL’s) Hotels & Hospitality Group. You met the team from JLL last year as they laid out their process for how they would analyze existing and conduct new research for the DSP, turning their findings into recommended destination strategies for the next 10 years of tourism-related economic development here.


And that’s exactly what they have been doing. In the months since last year’s Annual Meeting, the JLL team has visited the county six times, facilitating a DSP steering committee, talking with municipal and business leaders and other hospitality stakeholders, surveying our destination clients and customers and evaluating our physical assets first-hand.

JLL will be reporting what they’ve discovered and what they’re recommending to all of us during the luncheon.
As we said last year, the voices from these two Annual Meetings may be reverberating for years to come.


$65 each and $520 for table of eight* in the Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom

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This session is free to all local partners, but advance reservations are required. The session will begin at 10am in Convention Center Room 305 A/B.


This year’s memorial, leadership and achievement awards will be presented to:
  • Thad Eure Jr. Memorial Award: Dr. Stephen Scott, President of Wake Technical Community College
  • John B. Ross Jr. Leadership Award: Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, Co-Owners of Brewery Bhavana and Bida Manda
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Hobbs, Director, Hospitality Alliance of North Carolina





JLL is a Fortune 500 professional services, tourism and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. Unique to JLL is its Hotels & Hospitality Group with a team of specialists in the tourism sector and over 25 years of experience in both public- and private-sector projects. JLL has become an industry leader in developing strategic plans for destinations.

Dan Fenton, Executive Vice President

Based in San Francisco, Dan is an executive vice president with JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group specializing in tourism, branding and destination strategic planning. He provides operations, sales and marketing support for destinations, public assembly venues and hotels. Dan works extensively with destination marketing organizations and convention centers, including providing strategic planning and advisory services.


This series of three, quick presentations (20 minutes each) will cover tourism topics and trends you need to know about and will share news you can use when you get back to your desk.

Joe Milazzo IIThe Road Ahead: New Developments in Wake County Transportation

Joe Milazzo II, PE, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA)

There’s always a lot of buzz about new transportation initiatives in and around Wake County, and in his role at RTA, Joe is at the center of it. As the voice of the regional business community on transportation, RTA has helped accelerate the construction of the 540/Triangle Expressway system and lead the successful Wake County transit referendum. In this session, Joe will talk about what has already been accomplished and what’s still down the road.


Lynn D. MingesEchos from Jones St.

Lynn D. Minges, President and CEO, N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association

Lynn always has her ear to the ground listening to what’s happening in the legal corridors of our state that will impact hospitality and tourism industries. In this session, she will report of activities in the short session of the legislature and upcoming federal legislation that will impact the work we do in Wake County.


Kristie Van AukenNew Arrivals at RDU

Kristie VanAuken, Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs, RDU International Airport

If you have been watching the news (or the skies) lately, you already know that RDU continues to announce new flights, shops and restaurants opening at the airport, new destinations and much more. Kristie will let us know what’s new at RDU and what coming in the months ahead.

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Again this year, GRCVB will provide support to a special Wake County cause. Five dollars of every ticket sold will be donated to culinary arts and hospitality management programs at Wake Technical Community College.

Last year, Wake Tech partnered with Passage Home to train 15 homeless community members for careers in hospitality, many of whom were offered full-time employment after completing the program. Wake Tech and Passage Home are continuing the program this year.