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CEO Of Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau To Retire

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Dave Heinl, who has led the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau since its launch in 1987, is stepping down.

Heinl announced Wednesday to the bureau's staff his intent to retire on March 30 of next year. He served as president and chief executive officer of the organization.

"I love this job and Raleigh and Wake County, but my wife, Janice, and I want to spend more time with our son and his wife and two grandchildren in Sydney, Australia and our daughter and her husband and one grandchild in Yakima, Washington," Heinl said in a letter announcing his decision. "We have been so far away from them for so many years, and while we have good health, we want to be with them and see our grandchildren grow."

The couple plans to retire to Oregon where much of Heinl's family lives.

"Most of my family is in the Pacific Northwest and with my 90 year-old mother living in Portland, Oregon with my sister, it's time to share some time with them. We have bought a home in Yakima, Washington and plan to move there upon retirement.

Russ Smith, chairman of the Bureau's board and four other board members will form a search committee tasked to find a replacement for Heinl.

"Dave Heinl is certainly leaving with Raleigh and Wake County on a tourism high note," Smith said in a statement. "Hotel occupancy and overall visitor spending are at record levels. New restaurants and entertainment districts are being developed throughout the area. There is a three-year Strategic Destination Plan that provides focus for Greater Raleigh Tourism and a well-defined direction for the CVB and board. Raleigh is on the threshold of opening a new convention center and headquarters hotel in 2008 and there is $1.7 billion of downtown development serving as a catalyst for future visitor growth."

Heinl led convention and visitors bureaus in two other cities before coming to Raleigh. He also worked in marketing for IBM and McCaw Communications.

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