The North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) announced this week that Bob Major, the organization’s President and CEO, will retire effective December 31, 2020. Karen Trevino, currently Senior Vice President & COO, will assume the role as President and CEO upon Major’s retirement.
“The North Little Rock A & P Commissioners would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Bob for his leadership for the past eight years. His dedication and love of working for the City of North Little Rock and our restaurant, hotel and tourism industry is evident in all of the great strides we have made during this time,” said Melanie Hoggard, Chairman of the A & P Commission and owner of Moe’s Southwest Grill in Arkansas. “It has been a true pleasure to work with Bob to promote our local businesses in the hospitality industry and we wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Major has served in his current role since 2012 (as Executive Director from 2012-2017, then President & CEO 2018-2020). Prior to that, he worked at the CVB as group tours consultant. During his tenure, Major was the catalyst for positive change at the CVB. Achievements under his leadership include:
- Changing the organization’s name and staff titles to align with other CVBs nationwide.
- Overseeing North Little Rock CVB’s historic move from Burns Park to downtown North Little Rock.
- Working closely with city and industry partners to achieve common goals, such as:
- establishing an outdoor dining district in Argenta
- bringing the tugboat USS Hoga to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, and
- addressing landmarks in Burns Park for wayfinding and safety.
- Adding a retail component to the North Little Rock Welcome Center, providing local and Arkansas-made products and gifts for visitors and locals.
- Undergoing the CVB’s first in-depth market research, rebranding and website revamp.
- The North Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commi
ssion, which oversees the CVB, assuming all facets of A & P foodservice and lodging tax collections including issuing A & P permits and accepting tax remittances online.
- Increasing A & P tax collections by including lodging properties with less than 40 rooms; RV parks; bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals through AirBnB.
- Improving the highly successful CVB-managed Downtown Riverside RV Park, including new concrete pads and a mobile-friendly website.
“We’re going to miss Bob tremendously and are so grateful for everything he has done,” said Trevino. “He has always encouraged his staff to work hard, think outside the box and treat everyone with respect. That kind of positive influence will have a lasting impact.”
He had a thirty-year sales and marketing career with Southwestern Bell Telephone (now AT&T). While there, he served as Arkansas Sales & Marketing Manager and played a critical role in the development of a 911 project to help first-responders more quickly assist those in need.
Prior to his work with the North Little Rock CVB, Major served as Special Events Director at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce for four years, at the end of which he jumped into tourism feet first with the massive 2008 Family Motor Coach Association’s Regional Rally that brought 918 RVs to North Little Rock. When he joined the CVB, he “brought” the city-owned RV park with him to be managed by the CVB.
Major is a lifelong resident of North Little Rock and has been an active member of the community serving on various boards and committees, including President of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and being named to the Central Arkansas Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame. In 2018, the Arkansas Chapter of Skal International awarded him the J. Dan Baker Award for long-term outstanding service. He is a 1965 graduate of North Little Rock High School and served on the North Little Rock School District committee to select mascot, school colors and school name when NLRHS and NLR Northeast High School merged. He operated the scoreboard clock at NLRHS Stadium for all high school football games for 35 years.
“Anything accomplished during my time here was because of the hard work of the staff,” Major says humbly. “And I’m so pleased that Karen will be returning to the top leadership position. She has done and will do a fantastic job at the helm.”