Convention and Visitors Bureau
Approval of Tourism Development Authority Leads To Formation of Convention and Visitors BureauOn July 1 of this year, Gatlinburg community leaders effectively formed a Tourism Development Authority, combining the tourism marketing functions of the City’s Department of Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce into one entity doing business as the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. Initiatives to more effectively market the City of Gatlinburg and maximize efforts to promote local tourism include more direct involvement in the marketing of Gatlinburg by the business community.
Executive Director Vicki Simms supervises a staff that includes Administrative, Marketing, Finance, Visitors Services, Convention Center Sales, Special Events and Chamber division.
The Gatlinburg CVB is overseen by a Board of Directors that includes the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, members of the City’s former Tourism Advisory Board, City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle, Mayor Mike Werner and City Commission Designee, Mark McCown. The current President is Vickie Blake and President-elect is Jackelyn Shafer.
The tourism promotion functions of the GCVB include marketing and promoting Gatlinburg as a destination, marketing and selling the convention center, operating welcome centers and managing special events. In addition, the GCVB operates the visitor call center; produces, distributes and markets the Gatlinburg Vacation Guide, maintains and operates the Gatlinburg.com website and promotes Chamber of Commerce membership and services.
The Administrative office and members of the Marketing Division are located at 811 East Parkway, including Vicki Simms (Executive Director), Sherry Holtzclaw (Executive Secretary), Chad Netherland (Director of Marketing and Public Relations), George Hawkins (Community and Media Relations Director), Angela Carathers (Interactive and Social Media Manager), Jon Elder (Program Sales Manager) and Marci Claude (Public Relations Manager).
The Finance Department, including Ann Barry (Director of Human Resources and Finance) and Hannah Phillips (Account Manager), works out of the GCVB office at 303 Reagan Drive, which also houses the Visitors Services Division and Call Center. That staff includes Lori Tierney (Director of Visitors Services), Information Specialists Gladys Griffin and Peggy Pickel and Distribution Specialist Jim Matuszak.
Information Specialists Fran Brand, Chris Taft along with numerous seasonal and part-time employees work out of the two Gatlinburg Welcome Centers at 1011 Banner Road and on Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza.
Sales Department includes Karen Robertson (Director of Sales), Kathy Evans and Dian Stanfill (Sales Managers), Sherri Webb (Chamber Membership Sales Manager) and Julie Whitaker (Sales Assistant) work out of the Convention Center offices at 234 Historic Nature Trail.
Staff of the Special Events Division at 207 Cherokee Orchard Road includes Event Managers Jennifer Burke, Abby Schumacher-Benoit and Lisa Philippen.
For a full list of contact information of GCVB personnel, please contact Sherry Holtzclaw at 865-436-0532.