NASHVILLE, TN — Respected banking executive Kevin Lavender has been named chairman of the board at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, leading a board of directors representing sectors from both within and outside the hospitality industry to guide its rebound as a key economic generator for the city and state. 

Lavender, who is Head of Commercial Banking at Fifth Third Bank, will serve on the NCVC Executive Committee for FY 2022, along with Maneet Chauhan, Executive Chef and Partner at Morph Hospitality, as Chair Elect; Dr. Robert Fisher, Past President at Belmont University, as Immediate Past Chair; Marcus Whitney, CEO and Co-Founder of Health:Further, as Finance and Audit Committee Chair; and Ellen Pryor, Frist Museum’s Director of Communications, as Sales and Marketing Committee Chair.

“We appreciate these distinguished leaders for sharing their experience and expertise as Nashville returns to its prominence as a top global destination,” Lavender said. “The board’s guidance will be instrumental as the industry works through labor shortages and other challenges to come back as a strong economic engine for Nashville and Tennessee.”

Hotel occupancy continues to improve with the return of leisure travelers and conventions scheduled to take place later this fall. Major events will continue to help drive demand in Nashville, including the recent Music City Grand Prix and FIFA World Cup Qualifier with USA v. Canada and upcoming Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash. Tourism has been on an upward trajectory with Nashville named a top global destination for the past decade. A record 16.1 million visitors traveled here in 2019, and Nashville generated a record $7.5 billion in direct visitor spending. 

The NCVC board of directors include: 

• Patrick Chaffin,

 Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Ryman Hospitality Properties

• John Esposito, Chairman and CEO,

   Warner Music Group

• Eddie George, Head Football Coach, 

  Tennessee State University

• Jim Gingrich, Managing Partner, Elk Mountain Partners

• Kevin Green, COO

  Chartwell Hospitality

• Ed Hardy

   Hardy Media & Entertainment

• Leesa LeClaire, General Manager,

  Hilton Nashville Airport Hotel

• Ken Levitan, President, 

  Vector Management

• Kimberly Lewis, Owner, 

  Emerson Grace

• Pat Martin, Martin Investment Group

• Burke Nihill, President and CEO,  

Tennessee Titans

• Dr. Jonathan Perlin, President/Chief 

  Medical Officer, HCA

• Brian Tibbs, Partner, Moody Nolan

Ex officio members include Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, NCVC; Charles Robert Bone, Partner and Attorney, Bone McAllester Norton, as Legal Counsel; Sherry Franklin, Director of Hotel Sales, Renaissance Nashville, as Chair of the Metro Tourism and Convention Commission; and Sarah Trahern, CEO, CMA.

The 22-member volunteer board are community and business leaders who represent diverse voices in the Nashville area. The board is charged with directing the organization’s work on behalf of the city, the members of the NCVC and the city’s vibrant hospitality industry.