Hospitality/Tourism: RITA McCLENNY
PRESIDENT AND CEO, VIRGINIA TOURISM CORP., RICHMOND
Nobody would describe McClenny as a job hopper.
Almost a decade has passed since former Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed McClenny to head Virginia Tourism Corp. (VTC). Prior to that, the Southampton County native ran the Virginia Film Office, a division of the VTC, for more than two decades.
A graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, McClenny oversees big business. Even in dismal 2020, with most attractions shut down and overnight visitation dropped 33% to 29.3 million, 84.4 million visitors spent $17.5 billion in Virginia. (By comparison, pre-pandemic visitors spent $29 billion in the commonwealth during 2019.)
To help the industry get back on its feet, in October 2021, VTC announced plans to direct $50 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to 133 Virginia localities for tourism marketing and related expenses.
McClenny sits on the board for Travel South USA, a regional destination marketing organization.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: Do not let what I can’t do interfere with what I can do.