Mary German knows a lot about personality. As a certified StrengthsFinder facilitator and coach, she helps people identify their strengths and “find their paths based on who they are to their core,” she says.

As senior vice president of operations at the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau, German has served in various roles at the ACVB since 1991 and was recently named an honoree for the Women in Tourism category by the Dallas Business Journal. 

German has earned several certifications including Certified Tourism Ambassador, Certified Destination Management Executive and Certified Meeting Professional. She is a member of Destination Marketing Association International and Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, a professional member of the National Speakers Association and National Speakers Association North Texas Chapter, and a lifetime member of the Texas Alliance of Convention, Meeting and Event Operations Managers. She serves on the Destination Marketing Association International Advocacy Committee.

During her tenure at the ACVB, German was instrumental in bringing the city’s trolley program to life. The transportation system, which began in 1996, has been one of the keys to Arlington’s success in attracting meetings and events. “We had one hotel next door to the convention center, and other hotels close, but not within walking distance,” German says. “We required some sort of transportation.” 

That transportation turned out to be a thriving trolley program that services 23 hotels in Arlington. The ACVB works with planners to arrange trolley service—sometimes free trolley service—based on room night consumption. German says, “It was a unique and creative way to bring another amenity to our community,” something German continues to strive for as she oversees the ACVB’s other strategic initiatives.

Gail Davis, founder and president of Dallas-based GDA Speakers, was working in corporate training for EDS when the phone rang. “One of my mentors called me and said, ‘There’s a position in the events department, and I think you should do it. It would be so easy for a working mom,’” says Davis, before adding wryly, “It was clearly someone who had never planned events.” 


If there is a better hair-of-the-dog drink than a bloody mary, we sure don’t know what it is. Visit Beaumont shared its recipe for a tasty Sunday brunch cocktail, and they even made it for eight, so you can treat your friends!


Born and raised in Bryan, about 90 miles east of Village of Salado, Chadley Hollas, Village of Salado’s director of tourism, says he came to the town with one goal: to help Salado become Texas’ best small destination. His favorite thing about his adopted hometown is the people. “They are quirky, creative and hospitable—a neat combination that makes for many good conversations,” says Hollas.