Don Welsh, the departing leader of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, is the embodiment of the risk and reward associated with bringing in outside talent to do important work on the city’s behalf.
Welsh, who arrived from Seattle in 2008, had no peer in fighting for the resources that will be necessary to sell convention planners on the city’s new assets: the mammoth convention center expansion that opens later this month and the 1,000-room JW Marriott hotel that opens in February.
But a month from now, Welsh will become our competitor when he takes a similar position in Chicago. Without local ties, he’s quickly off to another challenge. Nevertheless, he brought a refreshing level of energy to the job here and leaves the city’s convention industry better than when he arrived.•
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