HARTFORD, CONN., July 17, 2014 - Michael Van Parys, a hospitality and convention industry professional for more than three decades, has announced that he will retire as President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB). His last day will be August 8, 2014.

The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau is the State's official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. The public-private partnership was established in 2012, expanding the reach and responsibilities of the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) to cover all of Connecticut. Van Parys joined the former GHCVB as Executive Vice President of Sales in March 2005. He was appointed its Acting President in June 2010, and was soon named President. Two years later, Van Parys managed the organization's major transition from a regional to statewide entity, including the expansion of membership, Board of Directors and Advisory Committees to represent all parts of the state.

"Michael has done an outstanding job as our organization's President and I am privileged to have worked closely with him over the past several years," said Peter J. Berry, CAE, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. "Not only did he coordinate the extensive transition to a statewide organization, but in the second year of operation alone, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau exceeded its goals with the state, booking more than 230,000 room night leads for our lodging members."

"I have enjoyed a wonderful career in the hospitality and convention industries, and am especially fortunate to have capped it off as President of this exciting statewide organization," says Van Parys. "After years of marketing the great appeal of a number of U.S. cities, I look forward to now having the time to travel and visit many other exciting destinations."

Berry announced that H. Scott Phelps will join the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau as its Interim President. "Scott has a proven track record in this state, having worked at the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau for more than 30 years. He was the GHCVB's President when he left the organization in May 2010, and has maintained many of the professional relationships he cultivated during his his three decades there."

Before joining the GHCVB in 2005, Michael Van Parys worked as General Manager of the former Goodwin Hotel in Hartford and was Regional Director for Meristar Corp., a hotel management company. His extensive industry background also includes positions of Director of Sales & Marketing at many prestigious hotel properties including the Hyatt Regency Newport (RI), the Doubletree Kansas City (Mo.), the Simsbury Inn in Simsbury, Conn., and the former Hastings Hotel & Conference Center and former Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Hartford.

The Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau (CTCSB) works in partnership with the state's businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and surrounding communities to market all of Connecticut - convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues - as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The public-private partnership is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The Connecticut Sports Convention Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information about Michael Van Parys and the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.ctmeetings.org or call 860-882-1102.