By: Brian Kendall
Those closest to Bob Jameson describe him as a creative and personable man, an even-keeled and level-headed leader — one who has a touch of sparkle and mischief. The hospitality business suits him perfectly, and he loves every minute of it. After working 35 years in the hospitality field, Jameson was selected as president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau in January 2013. He replaced David DuBois, who had held the position for five years. Jameson was chairman of the bureau’s board when DuBois resigned.
“I have been having fun since Day 1,” Jameson says. “I feel blessed to be in this job at this time in our city’s history. During the 30 years I’ve lived and worked here, great things have happened. Many things are coming together for this community,” he continues. “To me, to be out sharing a good news story where you’re surrounded by people who are proud of their city and love to share it, is just great.”
Johnny Campbell, president and CEO of Sundance Square in Fort Worth, served on the selection committee that appointed Jameson. “When the search was on for a leader of CVB, a lot of people were happy when Bob Jameson threw his hat into the ring,” Campbell says. “I certainly was one of those. Bob has a long history in Fort Worth. The more we investigated the resume and the background on Bob, the more we began to notice that there was something really special about his management style. He is an extremely humble, extremely caring and personable man. You don’t always think of those as the first leadership traits you might look for, but he is also an extremely accomplished leader.”
Jameson began his career in the hospitality field in 1977, as a tram driver at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel in Calif., progressing to front office manager at Marriott’s Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Ranch Mirage, Calif., and on to resident manager at Marriott International’s Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Jameson joined The Americana Hotel in Fort Worth in 1985 as resident manager. He was a member of the management team that led the transition from Americana Hotel Company management to the Worthington Hotel. Jameson was named president and general manager of the Worthington Operating Company in 1987. Marriott International purchased the Worthington in 1999 and renamed it The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel. Jameson re-joined Marriott International.
Jameson’s job responsibilities include the meeting and convention business, destination promotion and tourism development—no small job, says Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
“Bob understands the importance of promoting the city, the tourism dollars it can bring, and the business that comes with it,” says Price. “He’s been a champion of it—helping us with the new arena, moving the technology forward . . . Bob traveled with me to China, and I was very impressed with how creative he is and how much he gets done in a limited amount of time and with limited dollars.”
Jameson says that Fort Worth has been blessed with supportive mayors who are great advocates for tourism. “Mayor Price is exceptional in her advocacy in the things we’re trying to get done, whether you’re standing in front of an audience filled with Chinese travel writers or tour operators or whether you’re at the Hotel Association at Tarrant County,” he says. “She gets it, and she articulates the message very effectively and with enthusiasm.”
Jameson adds that over the years he’s learned from Fort Worth leaders that there is a value in how you problem-solve and envision the future for the city. “In Fort Worth, it is one that’s collaborative, regardless of the issue,” he says. “I feel the responsibility of sharing that message and that value with the folks that will be moving into leadership positions behind me—that next generation.”
Jameson serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., a member of The Cliburn Foundation Board of Directors, The University of North Texas School of Hospitality and Merchandising, The Arts Council of Fort Worth, The Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund, The MultiCultural Alliance, and the Recovery Resource Council.
Born in Long Beach, Calif., and raised in Garden Grove, Calif., Jameson graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.
While working at the Camelback Inn, he met Anne Milder of Iowa. They married in 1985 and are proud parents of four children — Bradley, Simone, Mackenzie and Andrea Jameson.
By: Brian Kendall