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VISIT Milwaukee names new CEO ahead of huge year for the city

Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 24, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- There’s a new CEO in town. Thursday, VISIT Milwaukee announced it’s new CEO and President. The national search wasn’t easy, but after dozens of interviews, the team found someone local to take the lead.

“This is a culmination of a dream that I’ve had since I started in downtown Milwaukee 22 years ago,” Peggy Williams-Smith said.

Williams-Smith, Senior Vice President of Marcus Hotels and Resorts, will assume her new role as President and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee November 18th.

“I know her character and I know her leadership, I know that she can hit the ground running. She understands the community, understands the political landscape and she really knows how to navigate through all of that to get things done,” Omar Shaikh, VISIT Milwaukee Board of Directors Chair, said.

VISIT Milwaukee is the Greater Milwaukee area’s convention and visitors bureau, and with several notable conventions, like the DNC, coming to Milwaukee next year Williams-Smith said she wants to make 2020 a banner year for the city.

“Milwaukee truly is a city on the verge of explosion. We’re not just some little sleepy Midwestern city,” she said.

Williams-Smith will lead the group in increasing the economic impact of tourism in the region —something that brings in more than $5.7 billion to the community each year.