Maura Allen Gast headshot
Maura Allen Gast, FCDME
Executive Director
Visit Irving, Texas

A 27-year veteran of the Irving CVB, Maura was named executive director in October 2003.  She led the team that delivered the on-time, under-budget and architecturally distinctive Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, and has oversight of its day-to-day operations, which is averaging 295 events per year.  The second anchor of Irving’s visitor district, the Toyota Music Factory, just opened its Live Nation Pavilion and Alamo Drafthouse Theater; 10 restaurants in the project are now open as well, with more coming. 

Maura is a former chair of Destinations International, and currently chairs its Certified Destination Management Executive Board of Directors and serves on the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program board as its chair-elect, the DestinationNEXT task force and is a DestinationNEXT facilitator. She has earned the designation of Fellow, Certified Destination Management Executive (FCDME).

On the industry’s behalf, she’s worked to weave economic development strategy with community planning tenets, along with solid destination sales and marketing, in order to enhance the standing of DMOs in their community. In 2016, she was recognized by the Dallas Business Journal in its inaugural Women In Tourism Awards. In 2015, she was honored with the La Cima Legacy Award for her contributions to the Irving community. Maura also has been named as a “Meetings Trendsetter” by MeetingsFocus Magazine, and a “Top 25 Extraordinary Mind” by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.  She is the recipient of an Irving Schools Foundation Fellow, and in 2017 was recognized by the NAACP Irving-Carrollton Branch with the Fletcher Yates Community Service Award.

Before joining the hospitality industry, Gast spent time in the retail and newspaper worlds, in a variety of sales, marketing and event management roles; she is also a recovering meeting professional.  She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.