He's been at the helm of the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau for more than seven years, and on Thursday, CEO Keith Arnold announced his resignation.
His announcement came during a scheduled CVB board meeting. Arnold said his resignation, effective Nov. 1, has nothing to do with a recently completed audit of the Bureau.
Arnold's resignation brings to an end the longest tenure for a professional in that position at the CVB. Along with his announcement, part of the board meeting agenda included a review of a recent audit.
That audit showed that, while Arnold is leaving the CVB in excellent shape, it can always use some improvement.
"Sometimes it's really, really good to go out at the top," Arnold said.
Arnold said that, amid record numbers of visitors coming to Corpus Christi, it's a good time to bow out. Board Chairman Michael Womack had nothing but praise for his outgoing CEO, adding that the recent audit, which looked into the CVB's methods for forecasting hotel reservations, had nothing to do with Arnold's resignation.
Womack said that under Arnold's leadership, the City saw an increase in visitors of more than 7 million in 2012, bringing in record-breaking hotel occupancy tax collections. That helped move Corpus Christi up from sixth to fifth as leading visitor destinations in the state.
For Arnold, the decision to leave was a positive one -- leaving his position while at the top of his game.
"I would like to try something else while I'm young enough, relatively speaking, and have the energy to go out and do what I do naturally and best," Arnold said. "And hopefully in this community."
"We weren't expecting his resignation. This is a hard job. There's a lot of time that goes into it. There's a lot of energy, and Keith has put his all into these seven years," Womack said. "We're so proud of the work that he's done, and his leadership. We are definitely going to miss him."
As far as what Arnold wants to do next, he said he will be looking into sales, marketing and public relations, hopefully related to the tourism industry.
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