Miami's Convention Chief Hired for L.A.

The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau has named George D. Kirkland to the post of president of the city's official travel marketing organization.

Kirkland, 45, has been president of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau since 1987.

"The hiring of George Kirkland is a measure of Los Angeles' absolute commitment to be a major player in the meetings, convention and tourism industry," said John Llewellyn, chairman of the bureau and president and chief executive of Forest Lawn Memorial Parks.

The top staff position at the Los Angeles bureau has been vacant since Bill F. Miller was ousted from the presidency in August after little more than a year in the job. Miller's contract was not renewed by the bureau's directors, reportedly because of a drop in convention business, although the bureau has never publicly explained Miller's departure.

Kirkland, who will start his new job at the end of January, saw membership increase during his stint in Miami to a forecast of 1,300 in 1989-90 from 300 in 1987-88. Miami convention room night sales increased to 600,000 in 1988-89 from 200,000 in 1986-87.

Kirkland, a native of Oakland, began his career with the Oakland Convention & Tourism Bureau in 1969. He also worked for bureaus in Anaheim and Hawaii. Kirkland has served as president of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City and of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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