This week, Ira spoke with Rossi Ralenkotter.
As President/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Rossi Ralenkotter is responsible for marketing and branding Las Vegas and Southern Nevada as the world’s most desirable destination for leisure and business travel. Under Ralenkotter’s leadership, the LVCVA launched the most successful branding campaign in tourism history, which is best known for its oft-repeated tagline, “What happens here, stays here.™” It was selected the No. 1 campaign by the voting public and was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2011.
The LVCVA also owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. Ralenkotter launched the Las Vegas Convention Center District, a transformational project that will further establish Las Vegas as a leading business destination in the world by reinventing and expanding the Las Vegas Convention Center and the surrounding area. Las Vegas remains the world’s trade show capital, hosting 54 of the largest 250 trade shows.
Ralenkotter began his career at the LVCVA in 1973 (43 years ago) as a research analyst. Prior to becoming President/CEO in 2004, he was the Authority’s Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President of Marketing. Before joining the LVCVA, Ralenkotter worked for a local telephone company and served in the United States Air Force. He has been a resident of Southern Nevada for more than 60 years.
Ralenkotter is a technical advisory committee member of NV Governor Brian Sandoval’s Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. He is a member of the board of directors for Brand USA and a past Chair of the Board of Directors and current board member for the U.S. Travel Association. Ralenkotter recently completed his term as Chair of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Commerce and remains on the Board. He is also a member of the American Society of Travel Agents, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the American Society of Association Executives and the Hotel Sales Marketing Association.
Ralenkotter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Arizona State University in 1969 and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 1971. He was honored with UNLV’s Distinguished Nevadan Award in 2009 and UNLV Alumni of the Year in 2008. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force with the 468th Medical Service Flight.
Ralenkotter is a member of the Las Vegas Ad Club, which inducted him into the Las Vegas Advertising Hall of Fame for lifetime marketing achievements. He also received Lifetime Achievement honors from the American Marketing Association and the Travel and Tourism Research Association, and was most recently inducted into the UNLV Lee Business School’s Nevada Business Hall of Fame.