Visit Winston-Salem President Announces Retirement and National Search

Visit Winston Salem

Winston-Salem, NC (Dec. 6, 2022) – After 13 years leading Visit Winston-Salem, President Richard Geiger,
today announced his retirement from the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority (FCTDA) Board
effective June 30, 2023.
To ensure a smooth and seamless transition, the TDA Board has approved the creation of a search
committee and the hiring of Searchwide Global, an executive search firm specializing in the travel and
tourism industry to lead in the recruitment for Geiger’s replacement. The national search will begin
January 2, 2023.
“While retirement is a natural stage in an organization, we have appreciated and will miss Rich’s vision and
leadership. He has been a strong leader of Visit Winston-Salem, an advocate for our community for more
than a decade, and a well-respected force throughout the tourism industry for more than 40 years,” said
Dana Lu Bryson, Board Chair of the FCTDA. “His dedication and keen insight enable and guide us in our
search for a new leader for Visit Winston-Salem and our hospitality community,” added Bryson.
“It has been my honor to lead Visit Winston-Salem and be a strong advocate for the hospitality industry for
this community. We have weathered a few storms; but, I’m proud to say, we have persevered and
together have solidified a flourishing and vibrant hospitality industry with a bright future,” said Geiger.
Geiger has held the top convention sales and marketing position for the Orlando Convention & Visitors
Bureau and was CEO of the Buffalo/Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, where his responsibilities
included managing the Convention Center, Sports Corporation, and Film Commission.
In February 2010, Geiger became President of Visit Winston-Salem. Visit Winston-Salem has a team of 17
full-time staff and a $5 million budget. Its mission is to promote and market greater Winston-Salem as a
visitor destination for the economic benefit of the community. Under his direction, Visit Winston-Salem
developed and implemented a strategic destination marketing campaign, which has successfully bolstered
the destination’s brand awareness and increased overnight visitation.
Geiger also implemented a sales strategy that has driven a steady increase in conventions, meetings, and
sporting events in Winston-Salem. A strong advocate for improving downtown Winston-Salem, Geiger
serves on the boards of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem
and Forsyth County. Geiger’s most notable accomplishments during his tenure at Visit Winston-Salem was
as a member of the committee that spearheaded a $20 million renovation of the Benton Convention

Geiger has won numerous travel industry awards and accolades, including being named Executive of the
Year by the Public Relations Society of America (Buffalo/Niagara Chapter) and Sales Executive of the Year
by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Geiger has served on the Destinations
International Board and now actively serves on the boards of the North Carolina Travel and Tourism
Coalition and North Carolina Travel Industry Association.
About Visit Winston-Salem (
Visit Winston-Salem is the official sales and marketing agency for the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
tourism industry. A sophisticated meeting destination, Winston-Salem is conveniently and strategically
located at the epicenter of North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad region. It is easily accessible by car via
Interstate 40, Business Interstate 40, Interstate 77, Interstate 85, and U.S. Highway 52. Scheduled air
service is available through Piedmont Triad International Airport, just 20 minutes east of Winston-Salem.


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