The Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (VHTA) has hired Eric D. Terry as its President, succeeding Executive Director Barry Hawkins who is retiring after 7 years in the position.
A graduate of the Hospitality and Tourism Management School at Virginia Tech, Terry returns to the Commonwealth from Houston, Texas where he oversaw hotel, golf, and club development, as well as, sales and marketing efforts for Redstone Companies Hospitality. Previously he managed sales, marketing, and revenue management for more than thirty hotel and resort properties and a team of over two hundred managers for Benchmark Hospitality International in The Woodlands, Texas. He also started an event-marketing firm in Dallas working with Food Network, NASCAR, Chuck Norris, and Indy Racing League events and properties.
“The tourism industry is Virginia’s second largest industry in the Commonwealth,” says Owen Mathews, Chairman of the Board of the VHTA. “Eric understands our industry and its economic impact from job creation to quality of life. In previous capacities, he has directed sales and marketing in major hotels in Virginia. He understands and appreciates our unique political and hospitality environment in the state and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber heading up our association and creating additional member programs.”
"The VHTA is a critical ally in the promotion of tourism in Virginia," says Rita McClenny, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "We depend on business leaders to speak up for their industry in the General Assembly, in the media and in their communities. Eric Terry brings many strengths to this position, and I look forward to collaborating with him and the VHTA to make Virginia an even more dynamic state for citizens here and elsewhere to enjoy."
Terry is a member of Meeting Planners International (MPI) and the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). He previously served as the President of the Crowne Plaza Marketing Association. “I am excited to move to Richmond to be closer to family on the Peninsula and to my beloved Hokies,” says Terry. “My hospitality career started at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, so I guess I’ve come full circle. My goal for the VHTA is to build additional membership programs and resources while being a strong advocate in the General Assembly and across the state for those restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions that make Virginia such an ideal place for tourism and visitors.”