Bill Sherry, the chief executive officer at Team San Jose, the convention and tourism marketing arm for San Jose, Calif., will retire in September 2013. A nationwide search for his replacement will begin in the first quarter of 2013.
Sherry took over in March 2011, replacing Dan Fenton, who had been with the bureau for 14 years and established the Team San Jose concept, which brings together the CVB, hoteliers, labor, the arts, and other stakeholders to create a single point of contact for planners.
Sherry came in at a difficult time for the organization as city leaders were considering scrapping the model because it wasn’t meeting its objectives. Under Sherry’s leadership, Team San Jose was able to meet most of its performance objectives in his first year, convincing city officials to keep Team San Jose.
"Bill's leadership has played a key role in Team San Jose's turnaround, resulting in a stronger, more strategic company that is laser-focused on business," said Michael Mulcahy, Team San Jose board chairman.
Sherry was also able to spearhead a $120 million expansion and renovation of San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center. The expansion will add 125,000 square feet of meeting space, including a new ballroom, to the center’s existing 425,000 square feet of space.
"I will stay through the completion of the convention center project as my final career achievement," says Sherry, who also serves as the aviation director at Mineta San Jose International Airport. "We're on track for completion in September 2013—on schedule and on budget as a result of our great partnership with the city, our construction team, and Team San Jose.”
Team San Jose has retained Mike Gamble of SearchWide to find Sherry’s replacement. San Jose Marriott Hotel General Manager Robert Thomas has been appointed chairman of the search committee.
“It's important that we start the CEO search process now so that we have the time to find the right industry leader to lead San Jose's convention center, theater, and visitors bureau operations,” adds Sherry. “I'm confident that we will recruit an energetic, capable professional to lead a superbly renovated convention center."
In related news, the San Jose City Council signed a five-year deal with Team San Jose to have it continue to manage the McEnery Convention Center as well as several theaters in the city. Strong financial results during challenging economic times as well as a benchmarking study that showed competitive advantages of the model were the chief determining factors. "The benchmarking study results demonstrate that we are above average in providing services for meeting planners and on par or above average in supporting the City’s performance goals," says Sherry, citing the study done by Conventions, Sports, and Leisure LLC. "We plan to use the study as a good benchmark to evaluate how we can push the envelope further to stay ahead of the competition and further support client needs.” The study found that Team San Jose rental and food and beverage both generated more revenue per square foot than the average of its competitive set. Operating expenses were two percent above the average of the competitive set.
Further, Team San Jose has had two years of solid business growth and has met seven of its nine fiscal and economic performance goals in each of the last two years.