RACVB - John Groh
     John Groh, CDME, is President and Chief Executive Officer for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau, a position he has held since July 2009.  During his Tenure, tourism has grown in Winnebago County for eight consecutive years, making it the fastest-growing metropolitan tourist market in Illinois.
     He also serves as President/CEO of RACVB's Charitable Foundation which creates highly visible projects that attract visitors to the region, while enhancing quality of life for area residents.  The Foundation has fostered an explosion of beautification projects and public art in downtown Rockford, including sculptures and large murals by recognized artists.
     Under John's leadership, the RACVB prioritizes destination development, which has resulted in such events as a holidy festival that now draws close to 90,000 people to downtown Rockford.  In recent years, the bureau co-coordinated a multi-agency project to expand the create indoor and outdoor sports venues.  The bureau's award-winning sports marketing program is well respected in the industry.  John is currently leading a mayoral-appointed citizens committee to redevelop Davis Park.
     Within the visitor industry, John is sought after for his expertise.  He frequently presents at professional conferences and willingly accepts leadership roles for organizations in the industry.  He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Destination Management Executive.
     Ideas are the seeds if transformation, according to John, and he believes there are no "bad good ideas".  Personally and professionally he seeks out experiences that generate inspiration, believing an idea explored is an opportunity.  It's a joyful, inquisitive philosophy of life that he and his wife, Kaylene, are passing along to their three sons - Coleman, Miles, and Lucas.
     John will talk about the Bureau and what the future holds for his organization.  This is always an interesting and informative program.  It is also an excellent opportunity to bring a guest or prospective member.