Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

David Gilbert

David E. Gilbert is President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland.  The Sports Commission’s goal is to make Greater Cleveland the nation’s foremost destination for amateur sporting events and activities.  The organization is responsible for attracting, promoting and managing major amateur athletic events and to create sporting opportunities for youth and amateur athletes. 

Since refounding in 2000, the Sports Commission has had significant success by creating and attracting more than 160 events to the Greater Cleveland area including the NCAA Women’s Final Four, National Senior Games, NBC Gravity Games, U.S. Figure Skating Championships, U.S. Gymnastics Championships, International Children’s Games, McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game, and U.S. Olympic Trials Box-Offs.  These events have contributed to more than $410 million in local economic activity.

David is also President and CEO of Destination Cleveland, the region’s convention and visitors bureau. Positively Cleveland is a private, non-profit civic organization that generates demand for business and leisure tourism to the region to improve economic vitality. The organization’s efforts contribute to the region’s $15 billion tourism industry and support the 170,000 jobs created by 29 million visitors to the 17-county region.

Prior to his current role, David served as Director of Community Affairs and Special Projects for the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland where he was responsible for advancingCleveland’s travel and tourism service standards and related developments.  Highlights of his tenure with the CVB include funding and development of two new, full-service visitor information centers and spearheading the funding, creation and operations of the Spirit of Hospitality Career Training Program, an innovative, new welfare-to-work initiative that received national recognition and acclaim.

Prior to his work with the CVB, David served as executive director of North Coast Harbor, Inc., a local development corporation responsible for the master planning and marketing of Cleveland’s downtown lakefront development district.  He also held the position of director of corporate development for The Cleveland Play House.

David also serves as Vice President on the board of the International Children’s Games, based inLausanne, Switzerland, and sits on the board of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and various other local boards and committees.  He is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2001, has been named by Crain’s Cleveland Businessas one of Cleveland’s 30 Influencers of the past 30 Years and one of Cleveland’s 40 under 40, honored with the 2004 Pillar Award as the Non-Profit Executive of the Year and the 2006 Anthem Impact Award and a member of the 50 Club of Cleveland.  David has a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from OhioState University and an M.B.A from Cleveland State University. 

David resides in Solon with his wife Faith, daughter Emily and son Bradley.  He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and marathon running.