Don Welsh

Choose Chicago picks new leader

Choose Chicago picks new leader

Choose Chicago has chosen a new leader to promote the city as a tourism destination.

David Whitaker, chief marketing officer of Brand USA and the former tourism chief for Toronto, will take the reins as CEO of Choose Chicago next month. He fills the void left by the departure of Don Welsh, who announced he was stepping down in January.

He will have his work cut out for him, joining the city's official tourism arm on the heels of a soft first quarter, and facing another potential funding shortfall in the state's ongoing budget impasse.

Add in rising gun violence that continues to promote a less-than-inviting image of Chicago, and Whitaker understands the urgency of the...