Following an extensive search that lasted nearly 10 months, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has named Paul Van Deventer its new president and CEO, effective April 29, 2013, it announced today.
“The search committee looked at a broad array of candidates within and outside the industry,” MPI CEO Search Committee Chair Michael Dominguez, senior vice president of sales at MGM Resorts International, said in a statement. “Our primary focus was to find a high-caliber, globally-minded leader with exceptional communications skills, brand building experience and the ability to drive incremental growth and engagement. Paul was that person. We believe he will prove to be a collaborative leader whose conviction, focus and intensity aligns well with the job at hand at MPI.”
Van Deventer most recently was a vice president in the health and wellness division at Walgreens, the country’s largest drugstore chain, where he managed revenue generation and client retention for Walgreens’ $500 million suite of employer-focused health care solutions. Prior to that, he spent 22 years with American Express, where he served at one time as senior director of multinational sales and operations, a role in which he had direct contact with the meetings industry, leading a $350 million global business unit with responsibility for more than 50 business travel customer service centers, 500 employees and a meetings/events group focused on the automotive industry.
“Having led business groups for blue chip Fortune 100 companies, Paul is a seasoned senior executive with both international and travel industry experience and a proven track record for driving growth, creating brand value and developing high-performing, engaged teams from the inside out,” said MPI Chairman Kevin Hinton, executive vice president of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). “Paul is client-focused, smart and engaging, possessing the skills and experience to build strong relationships and transform businesses. We believe he’s the right leader to leverage our existing strengths and strategy to broaden MPI’s impact — be it through new partnerships, products or market opportunities. He will be a compelling evangelist for MPI, as we look to expand our engagement with members, chapters, the business community and the broader meetings and events industry.”
Van Deventer replaces former MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan, who stepped down in June after six years at the organization’s helm.
“MPI has a rich history of industry leadership, education and best practice facilitation, led by a group of passionate and engaged volunteers and professional staff,” Van Deventer said. “I am excited to be returning to my meetings and travel roots to help leverage MPI’s strong brand and vibrant chapter network to invigorate and engage MPI members and expand MPI’s global reach and role as an industry advocate.”