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Industry Briefs

Ronald A. Simmons Rejoins the Destination Marketing Team and Launches Brand-New Diversity and Inclusion Training Service

Experience Montgomery , the destination marketing arm of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ronald A. Simmons as chief officer of destination and community development. Simmons rejoins the Montgomery Chamber after serving as President and CEO of the River Region United Way since 2020. Prior to this, he spent 10 years with the chamber serving as the vice president of sales for the Montgomery Convention and Visitor Bureau.

In this new role, Simmons will be responsible for the Experience Montgomery (CVB) division, as well as all "non-traditional" economic development and place building efforts for small and minority business development, a downtown plan and gateway transformation. In addition, he will launch a brand-new concierge service for meetings professionals that highlights diversity and inclusion training offerings available in the destination. The Big Ten Conference, an association of world-class universities across the country, will be the first organization to take advantage of this program in July 2022. 

"Ron will lead a key part of Montgomery's fully integrated economic development effort. Beyond destination marketing and development, he will be building and integrating the experiences that will take Montgomery to the next level of success in tourism, entrepreneurial growth, innovation, talent recruitment and more," said Anna Buckalew, Montgomery Chamber president and CEO. "We are thrilled to have him back at home in this newly expanded role for our organization."  

Originally from Montgomery, Ron Simmons is a graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery where he received a bachelor's degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in marketing and military science. Simmons was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army from the Auburn University at Montgomery ROTC program in 1987. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Institute of Organizational Management at the University of Georgia.

Simmons' work in the nonprofit sector is not limited to the Montgomery Chamber. He is the founder of D.A.D.S (Dads and Daughters Saturday) and serves on various boards throughout the community, including the YMCA of Greater Montgomery, East Montgomery YMCA and the Montgomery City-County Public Library. Simmons has also served on the boards of Brantwood Children's Home and the Jubilee CityFest. He is also a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and a Leadership Montgomery graduate, Class XXVIII.

About Montgomery

Situated on the banks of the Alabama River, Montgomery is the capital and the second largest city in the state of Alabama. Established in 1819, Montgomery has been the site of major historic events which have shaped the history of the United States. Emerging from its agricultural roots in the 19th century, Montgomery transformed from its history of injustice to become the birthplace of the civil rights movement and has long been a place that faced intolerable issues head on, initiating unprecedented change for the better. Today, this vibrant river town is experiencing a resurgence which has seen its downtown revitalized and has reestablished itself as a landmark Deep South destination. Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines and American Airlines. For more information, call 334-261-1100 or visit the official website of the Montgomery Convention and Visitor Bureau at .

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