Chris Cavanaugh has been called “a Swiss Army knife of strategy and marketing skills” because of his diverse set of capabilities and experiences. Cavanaugh has served as a strategic planning and marketing consultant for over 15 years and has worked with a wide range of clients and projects. He is most proud of his versatility, professionalism, and ability to listen to clients and stakeholders. He is widely recognized for his ability to see through the daily minutiae which clouds the vision of even the best manager and to identify strategic opportunities and solutions to problems.
His range of experiences includes units of large global firms and modest non-profit organizations across a variety of categories. As president of Magellan Strategy Group, he’s worked in small rural communities and giant metropolitan areas. As a consultant he has demonstrated the ability to work with entities with significant resources and those with barely a nickel to their name.
Prior to founding Magellan Strategy Group in 2004, Cavanaugh served as vice president of marketing for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC, the owner of Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. While at Biltmore, Cavanaugh helped guide the company’s marketing planning, strategy, and execution for almost ten years as part of an amazing team of talented people. During his time, the Biltmore team doubled its annual revenue and became the most visited historic house attraction in the U.S. Cavanaugh also directed marketing for the Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star hotel on the property, and the Biltmore Estate Winery, the most visited winery in the nation.
The Governor of North Carolina appointed Cavanaugh to the state’s travel and tourism board in 2003, and he was reappointed in 2010. He is past chairman of that board, and also past chairman of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (overseeing the work of the Asheville CVB) and Blue Ridge Mountain Host, a regional marketing association. Cavanaugh has been a recipient of the Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Award for his work with that organization and the region and the Travel Industry Association of North Carolina’s Tourism Excellence Award for his contributions to the state.
Cavanaugh holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Emory University. He had a career in consumer packaged goods marketing prior to joining The Biltmore Company. He has just finished two terms as a board member of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and continues to volunteer his time to the organization.