As president of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), William Pate is in charge of maintaining tourism as one of the city’s top economic drivers. The industry brought more than 48 million visitors to metro Atlanta in 2014, generating more than $14 billion in visitor spending and sustaining more than 230,000 jobs.
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, where he spearheaded the development and marketing of the BellSouth brand both nationally and internationally.
Pate also held positions at MCI, where he supervised domestic and international advertising and public relations, and at Knapp Inc., an Atlanta-based marketing services firm specializing in solutions for large corporations. In addition, he spent six years at the Southeast Dairy Association, producing advertising and marketing programs. He began his career in non-profit, working in public relations positions with Goodwill Industries and the American Red Cross.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle has honored Pate as one of Atlanta’s 50 Most Admired CEOs for the past two years. He was selected corporate marketer of the year by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Marketing Association and has been named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 100 Most Influential Atlantans every year since 2009. Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International recognized Pate as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing. Pate has also been received awards from Advertising Age and the American Marketing Association for his advertising work.
Pate is a past chairman of the board of the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and ACVB. He serves on the board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame, Commerce Club, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Chick-fil-A Bowl, as well as on the Board of Councilors of the Carter Presidential Center and the Industry Advisory Board for Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. Most recently, he was named to the Woodruff Art Center’s Board of Trustees.
A native of Atlanta, Pate grew up in Decatur and attended Georgia State University where he received his undergraduate degree in journalism and his graduate degree in communications.