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Industry Briefs


The 12-state Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has hired convention and visitors bureau veteran Monica Smith as president and CEO. She is only the third chief executive in the 35-year history of STS.

Smith begin on Monday, August 6, upon the retirement of Bill Hardman after his 21-year tenure in the position, according to Tim Todd, Interim Chairman of the STS Board of Directors.

Smith, who has more than 26 years' experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, most recently was vice president of sales and services for Visit Jacksonville, the city's tourism sales and marketing organization.  She previously was president and CEO of the Macon-Bibb County CVB in Macon, Ga.  She also has worked at the Pasadena CVB and the Newport Beach CVB in California and for Destination Cleveland in Ohio.

Smith, who has served on the STS board of directors through her positions in Jacksonville and Macon, is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.

About Southeast Tourism Society (STS)

Founded in 1983, Southeast Tourism Society ( provides education, advocacy, recognition, and networking opportunities for travel and tourism

professionals to best promote their destinations in its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Its headquarters are in Roswell, Georgia.


Join National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners members and other industry professionals in Washington, DC for the 5th Annual State of Black Tourism on Wednesday, September 12th at the National Union Building.  Discussion will focus on opportunities, policies, and strategies to heighten the influence of the African-American tourism industry.

This year's theme is "Innovation | Diversity | Impact." Discussion will highlight the economic power of the African-American Community, the correlation between African-American tourism, social advocacy, consumer trends and the need for a collective strategies to take us to a higher level through innovation. 

Black consumers make up a diverse group of trendsetters, education enthusiasts, media influencers, social activists and content creators. The African-American story continues to evolve. What role does that buying power play in travel, hospitality and tourism? We will discuss opportunities, policies, and strategies to heighten the influence of the African American tourism industry. 

Moderator: Dhani Jones is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Former NFL linebacker for New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals. Other panelists include: Andrea Wilkerson, Associate Director, Brand and Consumer Insights, Procter & Gamble; Julie Calvert, president/CEO of Cincinnati USA CVB, and David Marion, from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Marin Consulting Services.

Doors will open at 8:00 a.m. for a morning of powerful and enlightening discussion at DC's Union Building, located at 918 F Street, NW.  Admission is complimentary.

A reception will immediately follow the presentation. 

The NCBMP's 5th Annual State of Black Tourism is being sponsored by Cincinnati USA CVB, Detroit Metro CVB and Visit Fort Worth.

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