DALLAS – Longtime Dallas Market Center executive Cindy Morris has been promoted to president and chief executive officer, effective July 1. She succeeds Bill Winsor, who will become chairman emeritus after leading the DMC for 23 years.

Morris has a 26-year tenure at the wholesale complex, serving as chief operating officer since 2002 and before that as executive vice president. As ceo, Morris will focus on strengthening partnerships and looking for new opportunities while maintaining the core business as a wholesale complex and trade show operator, the company said.

“I welcome the opportunity to work to ensure that Dallas remains an important center of business and a destination for buyers from around the world,” Morris said. “I have been fortunate to work with a mentor as respected and visionary as Bill Winsor, and I am supported by a team of associates unmatched in expertise and understanding, driven by new ideas and strong values.”

During her career at the DMC, Morris has forged international relationships and initiated award-winning marketing campaigns to attract major retailers as well as independent merchants. The DMC’s 5-million-square-foot campus shelters permanent showrooms and temporary exhibition spaces for fashion, home furnishings, seasonal decor, gifts, lighting, foods and artificial flowers.

“I am confident that Cindy will guide the market center successfully and with careful attention to opportunities ahead,” said Harlan Crow, chairman and ceo of Crow Holdings, which owns the DMC. “She has an unequaled understanding of the business as well as key relationships with manufacturers, sales representatives and retailers.”

Winsor, who has been working for Crow Holdings since 1980, will remain involved in retail alliances, long-range planning and business development projects.

Under his leadership, the DMC in 2004 moved all fashion tenants from the aging International Apparel Mart into contemporary digs at the World Trade Center, where it developed new business in shoes, fast fashion, bridal and prom. Winsor also helped attract the largest concentration of decorative lighting showrooms in North America and large markets for artificial flowers and seasonal decor.

In each of the past four years, the DMC earned a coveted spot on the Dallas Morning News’ “Top 100 Places to Work in Dallas” survey. Among Winsor’s strategies: inviting the entire company to sessions where they can ask questions; summoning new staffers to a round table to gather suggestions, and hosting offsite brainstorming retreats.

“Dallas Market Center’s financial and operational stability was a key factor in my decision to shift roles,” Winsor said. “Cindy has continued to earn the respect of our owners, our associates, leaseholders and retailers throughout her many years of service… She has a clear vision for the future and will continue to focus on long-term customer needs over short-term market demands.”