Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau (CPCVB) President and CEO Fritz Smith today announced the retirement of long-time Sales Director Shirley Smith.
“Shirley is well-respected and well-known in the tourism industry, particularly in the field of sports marketing,” Smith said. “Her career has evolved as travel itself has evolved. Her longevity in the field is testament to her tremendous lifelong passion for destination marketing.”
Smith said Shirley will undertake special project work for the CPCVB until her official retirement on Dec. 1.
Shirley spent 35 years in the tourism industry, the last 22 in Centre County. She began her career with the Williamsport-Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce working in the motor coach market and developing new attractions to support economic growth through increased visitation.
She joined the now CPCVB in 1998, where she witnessed the 2000 opening of the current Visitors Center facility in the footprint of Beaver Stadium, and began focusing on the burgeoning sports market.
Shirley served on the Board of Directors of the First State Sports Group, now known nationally as PA Sports. A National Association of Sports Commissions Certified Sports Event Executive, Shirley received the first PA Sports Chairman’s Award in 2018.
Additional accolades include receiving the Industry Leader Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus in 2007, among other notable achievements.
Smith said while the CPCVB will miss Shirley’s day-to-day involvement, her sports market expertise will be utilized for the immediate future on special project work.
Most notably, Shirley will continue to assist the CPCVB’s recently formed sports committee, which encourages collaboration and communication among various Centre County stakeholders in the youth, university and adult organized sporting events.
“I’m truly blessed and thankful as I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful people in an industry I truly love,” Shirley said. “The friendships, wonderful experiences and amazing people, along with the goodwill of this amazing area of Pennsylvania, will truly last a lifetime.”