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AUSTIN-Austin has taken a Phoenix tourism executive to head the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Robert Lander, a Texas native, has been named president and CEO of the bureau.

For five years, Lander was vice president of marketing for the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. He replaces Ric Luber, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Lander will be greeted by a convention center that’s under construction to double its size and the nascent 800-room Hilton Hotel project next door.

The Austin bureau manages the activities of attracting conventions and tourists to Austin. Luber stayed on the job through August to renegotiate a five-year renewal of the bureau’s contract with the city of Austin. Tod Peddie, the Austin’s tourism director of convention sales, is serving as interim director until Lander arrives Oct. 7.

Lander has 20 years experience in the hotel business. His resume includes director of marketing and sales for the western region of Renaissance Hotels International and vice president of sales and marketing for Ramada International Hotels and Resorts.

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