Courtesy Southeast Tourism Society

ATLANTA, Ga. – 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 will begin 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 Atlanta. Membership includes state travel offices, convention and visitors bureaus, lodging properties, attractions, travel media and other travel-related organizations. 



Wendy Thomas, TMP

Director of Communications