Now that Visit San Antonio president and CEO Casandra Matej is headed to Orlando, the convention and visitors bureau in South Texas has named COO Dave Krupinski as its interim director. Krupinski, the former vice president of tourism for Visit Dallas, has been with Visit San Antonio since 2013.
The bureau's board of directors executive committee also has announced it will conduct a search for Matej's permanent replacement in coming months.
Krupinski was at Visit Dallas for 21 years before joining the San Antonio CVB. Prior to that, he worked for four years with Hilton Hotels Corp. (now Hilton Worldwide).
"Replacing someone of Casandra's caliber will be difficult," said Jeffrey Arndt, president and CEO of VIA Metropolitan Transit and chair of the Visit San Antonio board. "Her influence on the tourism and hospitality industry over the past decade has been remarkable. Under her watch, San Antonio has enjoyed significant moments and growth that will endure as a legacy to her impact. But perhaps her greatest legacy will be the talented and committed Visit San Antonio staff and strong partnerships she leaves behind. The organization is well positioned to move forward to revitalize the city's third-largest industry after a difficult 2020."
Matej, the former senior vice president of sales and services for the Dallas CVB, joined what was then the San Antonio CVB in June 2011. Her tenure in San Antonio has included some notable achievements:
- Visitation to the destination has grown by nearly 37 percent in the past nine years, reaching 41 million visitors in 2019.
- From 2011 to 2019, Visit San Antonio's budget grew by nearly 40 percent.
- In that same span, the organization generated more than 7 million group nights.
- Over the past five years, online engagement has grown by 35 percent.
- In 2016, the San Antonio CVB transitioned from a city department to the public-private Visit San Antonio, a 501c6 entity. Also that year, Matej was part of the leadership team for a $325 million transformation of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
- Two years ago, Visit San Antonio joined with the city and the hotel industry to create the San Antonio Tourism Public Improvement District, which is forecast to eventually generate a 33 percent gain in the organization’s marketing budget.
- Visit San Antonio spearheaded the pursuit of a UNESCO World Heritage designation for San Antonio’s Spanish colonial missions, one of which is the famed Alamo.