After 32 years of dedicated service to Atlanta's hospitality community, Kathleen Bertrand, senior vice president of community and governmental affairs at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), is retiring.
Bertrand has held several leadership positions at ACVB and her tenure has been marked by decades of successes. She has played a major role in steering ACVB's involvement in community and government issues. Bertrand was also the driving force behind the development of ACVB's diversity marketing program, which positioned Atlanta as the top destination for African-American travelers.
"I've had a ride of a lifetime with ACVB and I'm so grateful for the outstanding support I've received through the years. There's no doubt that I love this city, this industry and the people, both across the country and here in Atlanta, that I've had the opportunity to meet and to work with along the way on behalf of Atlanta," said Bertrand. "But now, after 32 years, I am excited about exploring other roads in life, through my continued work with BronzeLens Film Festival, as well as through my music performances, travel, more family time, and writing."
"While Kathleen will certainly be remembered for her extensive contributions to ACVB's community and diversity efforts, I will always cherish her leadership and counsel during my tenure as the organization's board chair and later as CEO," said William Pate, ACVB president & CEO. "Kathleen has been a champion for our city and she will be greatly missed. I wish Kathleen continued success in this next phase of her life."
Bertrand joined ACVB in 1983 as a membership account executive. In just seven years, she rose through the ranks to vice president of membership and community affairs. Under her leadership, ACVB membership grew by an impressive 70 percent. In 2007, Bertrand assumed the title of senior vice president of community and governmental affairs.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including recognition by Successful Meetings as one of the "25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry in 2013," Black Meetings & Tourism magazine as one of the "Most Influential African-Americans in Hospitality and Tourism," and by the Atlanta Business League as one of "Atlanta's Top 100 Black Women of Influence," to name just a few.
Bertrand's last day at ACVB will be June 30. She will continue her work with the BronzeLens Film Festival and is also looking forward to taking time to explore her other creative and philanthropic interests.