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Experience the LOVE of Virginia

Rita McClenny Named President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation

-McClenny has more than 20 years in public service in tourism and film industries-

RICHMOND, Va. (November 15, 2012) - Governor Bob McDonnell appointed Rita D. McClenny as the president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) on November 9, 2012.  As the leader of the state tourism office, McClenny will lead the team responsible for marketing the state as a top tourism and hospitality destination as well as promoting Virginia as the ideal location for film and television productions.  Previously McClenny served for 21 years as the head of the Virginia Film Office, which is a division of the VTC.

"Rita is a veteran public servant who has proven leadership ability," said Governor McDonnell.  "I'm pleased to make her appointment official so she and the Virginia Tourism Corporation can continue their work to keep tourism strong in Virginia and keep bringing in revenue and supporting jobs through tourism."

"After more than 20 years in public service, I am honored to lead this agency and its dedicated team of tourism professionals," said Rita McClenny, newly-appointed president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "Our agency will continue to move forward with a robust agenda of supporting job creation and economic opportunity by marketing Virginia's vibrant tourism and film industries".

Mary L. Fugere, CMP, CTIS, President of the Virginia Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus stated, "The members of the Virginia Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (VACVB) praise the appointment of Rita McClenny as Virginia Tourism Corporation president and CEO. We support Rita's leadership, recognize her accomplishments as Interim CEO, and look to the same level of leadership and professionalism in this permanent appointment.  We are confident that Rita's many years of service to the Commonwealth and her dedication to Virginia's successful marketing will lead to an exciting new era in Virginia tourism."

Barry Hawkins, Executive Director of the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association shared the following statement. "VHTA warmly welcomes and heartily congratulates Rita McClenny on her appointment as the permanent president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. During her tenure at the Virginia Film Office, she established a solid track record in the tourism industry. VHTA commends her on the work she has done and looks forward to working with her in the future to promote tourism in the Commonwealth."

A native Virginian, McClenny attended Vassar College and received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Fisk University.  She was born and raised in Southampton County and resides in the City of Richmond. 

As president and CEO of VTC, McClenny serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association, the National Council of State Tourism Directors, and the Southwest Virginia Heritage Foundation.  In 2010, Governor McDonnell appointed her to serve on the Commission to Honor the Contributions of Women of Virginia.  In addition, McClenny serves on the board of directors for the Virginia Film Festival, the HCA-Chippenham Medical Center and the Richmond Coliseum Advisory Board.  She is also a member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of Women in Film and Video.

In 2010 McClenny received the Theresa Pollack Prize for Excellence in the Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University.  The following year she was named to Boomer Magazine's inaugural "It List" which recognizes Richmond-area residents whose work in the community is deemed "influential, interesting or inspiring". In 2012, she was named a "statement maker" by Richmond Magazine. McClenny considers helping to recruit Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN to be filmed in Virginia as one of her greatest accomplishments.

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia.  In 2011 tourism generated $20.4 billion in revenue, supported 207,000 jobs and provided $1.32 billion in state and local taxes.

The 2011 total economic impact of the film and television industry in Virginia was $394.4 million, a 14.5 percent increase over 2010. In addition, 3,817 jobs were attributed to the film industry in 2011, up from 2,651 jobs in 2010.

 

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