NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Long-time leader of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. (NCVC) Butch Spyridon, will retire from the organization on June 30, 2023, after 32 years as its top executive. Deana Ivey, who currently holds the title of president, will be promoted to president and CEO on July 1, 2023.
“It is hard to imagine anyone else who has shaped Nashville’s growth and success as much as Butch, from branding it as ‘Music City’ to making it attractive to professional sports teams and corporate relocations to elevating the quality of life by drawing world-class events, restaurants, retail, and hotels,” says Kevin P. Lavender, head of commercial banking at Fifth Third Bank, who serves as chairman of the NCVC board of directors. “I particularly appreciate how Butch has intentionally supported Nashville’s diversity throughout his tenure, both marketing our cultural assets to visitors and in voluntarily assisting community groups and projects.”
Spyridon has led the organization since 1991 and has held the dual title of president and CEO since 2003. The 22-member NCVC board of directors developed a long-term strategic succession plan several years ago to prepare for Spyridon’s retirement, including Ivey’s transition into the CEO role. Ivey, who has been with the NCVC for 25 years, was promoted to president in January of 2022 after previously serving as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
“We are proud of the succession plan that will allow for a seamless transition in leadership so that the NCVC staff can continue their great work bringing visitors to Nashville and our city’s hospitality industry continues its upward momentum,” Lavender said.
On July 1, 2023, Spyridon will transition into a role as a strategic consultant to the NCVC under a two-year contract, including efforts to recruit major global events, including the Rugby World Cup, and additional nonstop international flights to Nashville International Airport. If an enclosed stadium is approved, his work would also include bidding on a Super Bowl and other premier events and bringing WrestleMania to Nissan Stadium.
“I cannot be more grateful to Nashville for the honor of being part of this community that has given me so much, from my college degree at Vanderbilt to meeting my wife to leading this extraordinary organization,” Spyridon says. “As I begin to reflect on my tenure, without question, my greatest professional accomplishment is the team we have assembled at the NCVC. They are second to none. I will treasure every moment as we work together these next six months. And anyone who knows me knows I won’t be slowing down.”
“I am honored and humbled that I will be stepping into this new role this summer,” Ivey says. “Everyone knows Butch has big shoes to fill, and I appreciate the faith the board and Butch have placed in me. I look forward to continuing the work of the NCVC and the hospitality industry as we sell and market the best destination in the world.”