Given his illustrious career in the hospitality industry, stepping into the role of president and CEO of the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMC/SVCVB) last May, has been an easy transition for John M. Hutar.
“I’ve been serving on boards of bureaus my entire 22-plus-year career as a hotel manager so, in a way, I’ve been training for this the entire time,” Hutar says, with a grin. “Over the years, I’ve learned how to promote a destination—promote the hotels, restaurants, and other attractions a city has to offer.”
Indeed, during his most recent position as GM for Dinah’s Garden in Palo Alto, Hutar also held various volunteer roles at the SMC/SVCVB. Even though he is familiar with the organization, he notes that, “Now is the time for me to take a deep dive to assess everything that’s going on at the bureau so that I can set the priorities for our board.”
Hutar is looking forward to championing the community. “We are so fortunate to have this convergence where high tech and biotech intersect at the crossroads of our lovely destination,” he says. “We cover 470 square miles of San Mateo County and Palo Alto, so we have tremendous economic drivers. Our opportunity, as a bureau, is to be louder and prouder in getting our message out.”
Hutar and his wife of 33 years, Lisa, have three adult children. A self-professed music aficionado, Hutar plays bass guitar, keyboard, and accordion and is an avid collector of musical instruments.