William Pate

President and CEO

William Pate

As president and CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), William Pate is responsible for maintaining tourism as one of the city’s top economic drivers. The industry brought an estimated 57 million visitors to metro Atlanta in 2019, generating $16 billion in visitor spending and sustaining approximately 300,000 jobs.

A native of Atlanta, Pate is revered locally for his leadership and marketing expertise. In 2021, he was appointed to the Georgia Tourism Foundation to increase the state’s position as a destination for travel. American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Atlanta chapter awarded him its lifetime achievement award in 2020. Atlanta Business League named him its 2019 Herman J. Russell CEO of the Year, Atlanta Magazine recognized him as one of the most influential leaders in Atlanta and Georgia Trend magazine included him on its list of 2019 Notable Georgians. Atlanta Business Chronicle honored Pate multiple times as one of Atlanta’s 50 most admired CEOs and named him to its 100 most influential Atlantans list every year since 2009. AMA’s Atlanta chapter also selected him as corporate marketer of the year in 2010.

A prominent leader in the nation’s hospitality industry, Pate serves on the board of directors of U.S. Travel Association and Destinations International. Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International honored him as one of the top 25 most extraordinary minds in sales and marketing, and he received the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association award of appreciation for his commitment to diversity and inclusion within the travel industry.

Pate’s involvement in Atlanta’s sports industry includes serving on the boards of Atlanta Sports Council, Celebration Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. He served as vice president of the Atlanta Football Host Committee which managed the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, board member for the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee for Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and vice chairman of the Atlanta Basketball Host Committee, which oversaw planning for the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four. Atlanta Business Chronicle named him one of Georgia’s 30 most influential sports business figures of 2020.

Pate is very active in the Atlanta community, serving on the board of directors for Central Atlanta Progress, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, First Tee Atlanta, Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, Metro Atlanta Chamber and Woodruff Arts Center. He is also on the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center and the industry advisory board for Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration.

Prior to joining ACVB, Pate served as president of Career Sports & Entertainment, a national sports marketing and representation firm. He is the former chief marketing officer of BellSouth, one of the world’s largest communications companies. Prior to joining BellSouth, Pate supervised domestic and international advertising and communications at MCI during the telecom ad wars of the 1990s.

Pate attended Georgia State University where he received his undergraduate degree in journalism and his graduate degree in communications.

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