Jim Wood, who has overseen six years of growth in meetings and conventions business in Atlantic City, will depart as president and CEO of Meet AC at the end of 2019. Wood will be returning to Kentucky to care for his wife while she rehabilitates from a severe fall suffered earlier in the year.
“The intent of the Meet AC board of directors is to conduct a national search, but we have not been given a timeline for this as yet,” said Jessica Kasunich, communications manager for Meet AC.
Wood became the first CEO for Meet AC in 2014, when the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) hired a consulting group to form the new sales and marketing organization, which became Meet AC. At the time, Atlantic City was heavily focused on gaming, but Meet AC’s primary focus has been growing the city’s nongaming business, including the meetings and convention market.
“We stepped up our marketing efforts, rebranded the organization and launched a new website,” said Wood in a 2018 interview with Smart Meetings. “As part of that effort, we began offering incentives to specific groups, especially those interested in utilizing the Atlantic City Convention Center.”
Meet AC was successful in attracting the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) 2016 World Education Congress, the 2016 TEAMS Conference & Expo as well as other prominent industry shows. In 2015, Wood formed the Atlantic City Sports Commission as a department within Meet AC.
During Wood’s tenure, Meet AC has helped to book over 1.8 million room nights, which has brought in nearly $1.9 billion to Atlantic City. Meet AC has continued to exceed its organizational goals, it says, despite a struggling gaming economy that saw multiple casino closures.
“It has been my pleasure to lead a great staff,” said Wood. “The organization is in great shape for the future.”
“Jim has been a driving force in continuing to position Atlantic City as a top destination for the meetings and conventions market,” said Matt Doherty CRDA executive director and Meet AC board chairman. “We wish Jim and his family the best in the future.”