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Dunn to Lead National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals

By Todd R. Berger

Jason Dunn Sr. to leave Visit Cincy to lead national organization.

The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) announced Nov. 1 the appointment of Jason Dunn Sr. to serve as the coalition’s executive director. Founded in 1983, NCBMP is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate and empower Black hospitality professionals and all proponents of equity who support or work with Black events. 

“We’re elated to announce Jason Dunn Sr. as our national executive director,” says NCBMP board chair, Kevin Richardson. “[I know] that the authenticity of Jason’s leadership, the passion in which he builds his relationships, and his ability to move the moral consciousness of all around him aligns with our founders’ vison and truly makes him the best person for the job. We are now better positioned to compete, educate, and highlight the impact of our business as we approach our 40th anniversary. We are excited about Jason leading the way.”

Dunn, the 1st Black vice president at Visit Cincy in its 77-year history, is an 18-year tourism industry veteran. While at Visit Cincy, Dunn led transformative initiatives that have positioned Cincinnati as a destination of choice for many diverse conventions. Under Dunn’s leadership, Visit Cincy has hosted 21 of the top 25 diverse organizations and the City of Cincinnati is now preparing to welcome its largest convention in 18 years, which is the African Methodist Episcopal Church 52nd Quadrennial Session in 2024. Specifically, Dunn helped rebuild Cincinnati’s image after the racial unrest in 2001 by introducing a strategic, community-based engagement model for tourism growth. He is further credited with being a key influencer in the reinvention of the region’s transportation system, which he believed would help get hospitality professionals to work with dignity. 

Furthermore, as a strong believer in the power of authentic local and global strategic partnerships that seek to empower communities via tourism, Dunn initiated such key partnerships by way of Visit Cincy’s “Vibe Cincinnati” platform that have emboldened communities to organize and celebrate their cultures with intentionality. Such partnerships have led to innovative activations like “The Cincinnati Moon Festival,” “Cincy Soul’s ‘The Black Taste,’” The Cincinnati Music Festival’s “Vibe Night,” The Un-Told Speaker Series, Cincinnati Pride’s Speaker Series, the Cincinnati International Jazz Festival, the Cincinnati Rhythm by COMPASS, and “Cincy Sabrosso.”  

In addition, Dunn led the development of the Dan Lincoln Institute for Hospitality Leadership (IHL) program. IHL works to increase skilled and diverse talent in the hospitality sector by implementing innovative curriculum into Cincinnati Public Schools systems, as well as with Cincinnati-based colleges and hospitality businesses. 

Knowing that research drives decisions, Dunn fostered partnerships that have helped to reset travel and tourism industry beliefs and challenged the status quo through data. He led the “MMGY’s Global Black Travel Study,” The Events Industry Council’s Global Equity Study, the Annual State of Black Tourism Summit, The Cincinnati Music Festival’s Economic Impact Study, The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber’s Black Business Economic Impact Study, and Visit Cincy’s Black Leisure Travelers Destination Marketing Study.

“Visit Cincy has prepared me for the power/impact of this industry,” Dunn says. “At the same time, NCBMP has paved the way for me to live up to its creed. Strategic partnerships rooted in authenticity, substance, and friendship will be key in leading [in] the hospitality industry. NCBMP has a rich history of being at the forefront, and we seek to make our founders proud and work closely with our board of directors to ensure we are positioned to compete.”