As a thirty-seven year resident of Gatlinburg, Vicki Simms has grown to know the community she lives in as a thriving tourism based economy. With over thirty years of experience in the tourism industry and over fifteen years as the Executive Director of the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, Vicki Simms has participated directly in the growth of the business community, the promotion of the community as a whole and the promotion of the individual business that make Gatlinburg a thriving premier destination.
Vicki learned “in the trenches” how important tourism is to the development of the Gatlinburg community and it’s economic well being; in addition to this knowledge, she and as an active participant in the visioning process for the community has been a part of the understanding of the importance of using consensus driven processes to address the growth and needs of individual communities. As the Executive Director of the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, Vicki has managed a membership base of 600 plus members and an overall budget of 1.2 million dollars each year.
Most recently, however, in addition to her duties as the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Vicki has assisted the community in the establishment of the Gatlinburg Tourism Development Authority and the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. In June of 2013, Vicki was named the Executive Director of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. To enhance and continue to grow both the marketing efforts of the City of Gatlinburg and the Chamber of Commerce the Gatlinburg Convention Visitors Bureau under Vicki’s direction has merged those efforts and created a budget for the new entity of just over 6 million dollars. It is the belief of the community that by consolidating these efforts Vicki and the staff of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau will be better able to provide more effective and efficient services to both the community and visitors alike.
Vicki’s passion for her work with consensus driven processes has lead her to understand the importance of the open forum and working diligently to obtain the commitment needed from those who share her enthusiasm for the tourism industry and the true economic impact it has provided to the community.