H. Scott Phelps, the President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) and a leader in the state’s convention industry for the past four decades, has announced that he will retire on December 31, 2018. During his long career, Phelps has managed everything from membership to community relations to sales operations to top executive responsibilities.
The CTCSB will conduct a national search for a new president, reports Thomas Madden, Chair of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State’s official meetings, and sports event sales and marketing organization. Effective January 1, 2019, the organization’s Interim President will be Robert Murdock, the CTCSB’s current Director of Sports Marketing and its Director of National Accounts for S.M.E.R.F. (Social, Military, Education, Religious, Fraternal) and Affinity Groups. Murdock also will be the 2019 President of the New England Society of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (NESCVB).
“Scott Phelps has been an active proponent of Connecticut’s convention and hospitality industries for more than 40 years, building close partnerships and relationships with local businesses, communities and organizations while marketing the appeal of our state to meeting planners and sports promoters nationwide,” explains Thomas Madden, who also is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stamford. “He tried to retire once before almost a decade ago, and we were fortunate to bring him back a few years later to help us grow the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. This time, we will say ‘Goodbye’ again and wish him a wonderful, long retirement.”
“I am going to miss the many friendships and professional relationships that I have cultivated over my career but am confident that the experienced staff at the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau will continue to move the state forward as a tremendous destination for meetings, conventions and major sports events,” Phelps states. “The economic impact of this industry on our state’s economy is enormous. Events booked through the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau during the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in more than $54 million in spending by attendees during their visits here, will generate over $3,650,000 in Connecticut taxes, and support more than 17,000 Connecticut hospitality industry jobs.* In fact, for every dollar that Connecticut invests in the CTCSB, more than $8 is returned to the State in taxes alone.”
Phelps worked at the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) for more than 30 years, joining that organization in 1977 as the Director of Membership and Community Affairs and becoming its President in 1992. Under his leadership, the GHCVB became one of the most successful tourism-related public/private partnerships in the U.S. and received numerous industry awards and accolades.
He retired from the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2010 and, two years later, the State established the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, expanding the reach and responsibilities of the former GHCVB. In 2014, Phelps came out of retirement and returned to the convention industry to head up the statewide CTCSB when then-President Michael Van Parys retired from that post.
Phelps has served on a variety of industry boards and currently is a member of the University of New Haven’s Hospitality & Tourism Management Department's Advisory Board and the Connecticut Lodging Association’s Board of Directors. Over the years, he received many awards for his work, including the American Marketing Association’s “Marketer of the Year Award” and a “Governor’s Tourism Award for Excellence in Travel Promotion”, and the Central Regional Tourism District’s “Tourism Leadership Award.”