Sugarland Run resident Jonathan Schwartz brings the hotelier’s perspective to the Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association (LCVA) and what he learns about tourism back to the Fairfield Inn, where he serves as the hotel’s general manager.
"The Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association is very instrumental in learning about where I live," said Schwartz, a board member for the past three years. He was named board chairman on July 1.
Through the LCVA, Schwartz finds out about different tourism destinations in Loudoun, including information about attractions, restaurants and hotels he can pass on to hotel visitors, along with learning more about western Loudoun’s offerings. In turn, when he attends meetings, he can give the hotelier’s perspective on tourism in the county.
"I’m promoting a hotel, my staff and a service, but I’m also promoting our community," Schwartz said. "There are great, great things here in Loudoun."
Schwartz replaces Linda Callagy, who served as board chair for two years and owns The Potomac Gallery in Leesburg. As chairman, Schwartz oversees the board’s monthly meetings of 20 board members and five ex-officio members and helps steer the LCVA toward its goals, including marketing and promoting Loudoun as a premier destination and providing education on the county’s offerings.
Recently, the LCVA adopted a three-year business plan that includes community outreach and market research of the tourism industry. "For me, it comes down to Loudoun being the premier visitor’s destination and bringing all the tools together to make that happen," he said.
THE LCVA was established in 1995 as a public-private partnership to generate economic benefits for the county and incorporated towns through tax dollars and visitor spending. The organization’s mission focuses on making the county a premier visitor destination that the community supports by recognizing the economic and quality of life benefits that tourism can generate.
"His leadership is going to bring continuity, but it’s also an opportune time with the market research that’s underway to have a hotelier as our board chair," said Cheryl Kilday, president of the LCVA, adding that Schwartz will be the first hotelier to serve as board chairman. "He brings a lot of relationships, expertise and continuity to our board. He runs a great meeting. He’s a good listener. And he’s got a lot of passion for the tourism industry and vitality of the industry and what that takes."
Schwartz, who is 32, got involved in tourism early in his career, working at a travel agency for one year before switching to the hospitality industry, where he has remained for the past 12 years. The Washington, D.C. native rose up through the ranks from a cashier to various management positions before becoming a general manager of an Arlington hotel nearly eight years ago and of the Fairfield Inn six years ago. A coworker of his became his mentor, a man who at the time had worked for 16 years in the food and beverage business and thought of himself as an apprentice of the business.
"I learn something new every day, so you get a little bit of that apprentice inside your blood," Schwartz said. "You have that yearning to learn new things and to progress."
Schwartz also serves as LCVA’s representative to the Economic Development Commission. He is a single father with two children. He dedicates his free time to his children and to traveling.