Memphis CVB Announces New Mission for “Welcome to Memphis”

Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau / October 2015

MEMPHIS, TN (Oct. 1, 2015) – The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCVB) announced a new direction for its 501(c)(3) affiliate, the Memphis Tourism Education Foundation. The nonprofit organization, which is known for producing the award-winning I Am A Man documentary, has historically been involved with workforce development and education efforts to improve the tourism industry.

This new direction will take the nonprofit a step away from its broader education efforts to focus its programming on the current tourism and hospitality workforce, by providing professional development training in the areas of customer service and destination knowledge.

Along with the new direction comes a new name, Welcome to Memphis, and a new mission statement: To create a lasting positive impression of Memphis by increasing the skills and knowledge of people who interact with visitors.

“We established a nonprofit to focus on workforce preparedness within the tourism industry, with specific economic development goals – we’re talking about 35,000 employees here. Our economic potential rises or falls according to how visitors feel when they come to Memphis – it directly affects how much money they spend during their stay, and if they decide to come back for another visit,” said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our job as the CVB is to bring visitors to Memphis.”

“Our nonprofit, now known as Welcome to Memphis, works to make sure those visitors have the best possible experience during their stay,” he added. “We expect its new focus will enable us to have a more efficient and more effective impact on our industry’s bottom line.”

New staff leadership has been appointed to manage the nonprofit. Former CVB membership director Mary Schmitz will take on the role of executive director. She has a background in training and development for frontline workers – instructing people in a wide range of jobs, from cab drivers to concierge to box office attendants – and her focus has been on better customer service, across the board. Her 15+ years at the CVB, in particular her experience as membership director, will give her a head start when it comes to employer relations.

Schmitz will be assisted during this transition, as the nonprofit revamps its programming and organizational structure, by nonprofit management consultant Joann Self Selvidge, who has an expertise in strategic program development.

To learn more about the nonprofit, visit its website, To learn more about the MCVB, visit

The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official marketing and tourism organization for Memphis and Shelby County, is a private, not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to building the local economy and the community’s positive image through tourism and convention development, major events and destination marketing.


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Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau | October, 2015