Rick Hughes oversaw organization for more than 10 years

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association (KCCVA) announced today that Rick Hughes will step down as president and CEO on June 30, 2013. Hughes joined the KCCVA in February 2003 and is the longest-serving president in the organization's history. Hughes will continue in a consultant role through June 30, 2014. 

"Rick burst onto the Kansas City hospitality scene (literally, on a Harley-Davidson V Rod) at his first annual meeting nearly 10 years ago to date," said Troy Stremming, chairman of the KCCVA board of directors. "It has been full throttle since, and the entire destination has benefited from his leadership. We wish Rick the best in the future steps of his journey." 

Hughes has served the KCCVA organization and the entire Kansas City hospitality and business community for more than 10 years. He leaves on a high note with two consecutive years of record hotel demand, as well as record achievements in 2012 for key areas including convention lead generation, marketing response, organizational revenue and membership. Among his accomplishments:

  • Helped secure major convention bookings including NAACP, La Raza, Educational Testing Service and the Big 12 Basketball Championships, resulting in more than 3.5 million hotel room nights booked during his tenure 
  • Restructured the marketing and communications team with a strong emphasis on leisure travel, resulting in more than 1.1 million incremental leisure hotel room nights during his tenure 
  • Grew KCCVA membership to one of the largest in the country with more than 2,000 members 
  • Helped launch community events including Rhythm & Ribs, WaterFire and Tour of Missouri 
  • Grew organization's budget from $7 million to $10 million, leaving the KCCVA with its best financial balance sheet in more than 12 years 
  • Helped introduce a hospitality training program as the first city in the nation for the Certified Tourism Ambassador program, which to date has trained more than 3,200 people in Kansas City

His tenure coincided with strong tourism-related development including Sprint Center, Kansas City Power & Light District, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center and major events like the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game that brought renewed interest in Kansas City as a travel destination. 

His retirement is a capstone on nearly four decades in the hospitality industry. Hughes came to Kansas City after spending 11 years at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. His extensive experience in the hotel industry included 14 years with Marriott Corporation. Hughes started his tourism career at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. He was born and raised in Jefferson City, Mo. 

Hughes currently serves on a number of local boards including the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City; Kansas City Downtown Council; National Agriculture Hall Of Fame; Kansas City Jazz Orchestra; PANAM-KC; The 27 Committee, Inc.; and Derrick Johnson's Defend the Dream Foundation. He is a past executive committee member of Destination Marketing Association International. 

The Executive Committee of the KCCVA Board of Directors is developing an interim leadership plan and establishing a search committee for a new president and CEO. 

The KCCVA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. Through marketing, sales and service for convention and tourism industries, the KCCVA supports a vital and growing component of the local economy-generating 45,000 jobs and $4.5 billion annually. For more information about Kansas City, go to VisitKC.com

Media Contacts

Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus
Traci Moon
Traci Moon
SVP, Marketing & Communications

For News Media

Members of the media can register to gain access to Visit KC's image and B-roll library

LOGIN Register