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VisitDallas CEO Phillip Jones to Speak at Joint TBA / USAT Luncheon

AUSTIN, TX (January 11, 2017)Triathlon Business International (TBI) and USA Triathlon today announced that Phillip Jones, CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau and a 17-time IRONMAN competitor, will be the keynote speaker at the organizations' joint luncheon hosted by the Dallas Sports Commission Sunday, January 22 at the Fairmont Dallas. The joint luncheon is the first event in a daylong joint programming agenda between TBI and USA Triathlon as part of their collaborative conferences – the USA Triathlon Race Director Symposium (Jan. 20-22) and TBI's Annual Business Conference (Jan. 22-24). Jones will be sharing his perspectives from an event host city stand-point – the positives and challenges – as well as his unique event participant perspective as a seasoned Olympic distance and IRONMAN competitor – how a city helps live up to competitor expectations.

Jones joined the Dallas CVB as president and CEO in 2003, moving from Louisiana where he served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Since being in Dallas, Jones' has accomplished many of the CVB's business initiatives including: the development of a convention center hotel; the creation of the state's first Tourism Public Improvement District; and the launch of the "Big Things Happen Here" branding initiative.  He also led the creation of the Dallas Sports Commission and the first Diversity and Inclusion department within a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) nationwide. Under his leadership, Dallas has gone from 98,026 hotel room nights in 2003 to now 2,052,853 hotel room nights. Dallas is now the No. 1 visitor destination in Texas with 25.7 million visitors annually, including 2.59 million international visitors.

In his spare time, Jones is an avid endurance sports athlete with 25 sprint and Olympic distance triathlons under his belt since he started in the sport in the 1980s. He's also competed in 18 70.3 IRONMAN events and 17 IRONMAN competitions around the world, including qualifying for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona in 2015 where he finished in a time of 12 hours and 30 minutes. He has also run the Dallas Marathon multiple times and traveled to Paris, Washington D.C., New Orleans and other far reaching cities for their marathons.

"Triathlon is an incredible sport.  It's competitive and it challenges me to go beyond my perceived limits," said Jones. "My job with Visit Dallas is also competitive, as Dallas battles other cities for events, conferences and other business revenue. Triathlon and other endurance sports have helped me grow stronger and braver in all aspects of my business and professional life."