ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Nanci Liles is retiring after 36 years.
Liles announced her plans to retire Friday, saying her resignation will be effective December 31.
“It has been a distinct pleasure to work alongside Nanci and her team at the ACVB during my nearly six years as CEO of the Abilene Chamber,” said Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with and learn from Nanci and her team as we prepare for a seamless transition of her leadership. I look forward to working together to continue to serve our city and those who benefit from tourism activity here at home.”
Liles has called Abilene home since 1985, serving many areas of the community.
More about her career and legacy can be found from the Abilene Chamber of Commerce below:
Nanci began her destination marketing career in 1982 at the Midland Chamber of Commerce. She has passionately served the ACVB as director since 1985. Throughout her 40-year career, Nanci has been actively involved in the Texas tourism industry. She served on the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association’s Legal Defense Committee, as director and chair of the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (TACVB) and as Chair of the Texas Travel Alliance (TTA).
Nanci’s term as TTA Chair, an association near and dear to her, began Sept. 11, 2001. From that day forward, members of the TTA community became more resilient, more unified, and (under her leadership and many like her) the travel industry not only survived but thrived. Her work TTA also opened many doors for the Abilene community through Nanci’s service alongside senior leadership of Texas businesses including Landry’s, American Airlines, the Dallas Cowboys, SeaWorld, Six Flags Over Texas, and more.
In 2008, Nanci received the TTA’s prestigious “Tall in Texas” and in 2016, she was presented with the alliance’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Texas Department of Transportation Tourism Division bestowed the Gene Phillips Hospitality Award to Nanci in 2017.
Nanci was one of the first tourism professionals to be certified as a Texas Destination Marketer through the TACVB. She was named as one of the Top 20 over 50 in Abilene (first edition – 2011) and was honored an Outstanding Woman by AAUW.
Nanci moved to Abilene in 1985 with the thought that the move would simply be a steppingstone in her career, however, it turned out to be so much more. She found herself fully engaged and in love with the Abilene community.
Throughout her career, Nanci served on various local boards and committees including the United Way project committee, Abilene Regional Airport, Meals on Wheels, Expo Center, Convention Center, Junior League of Abilene, the Texas Forts Trail and Frontier Texas!
“I have had the pleasure to work with so many wonderful board members over the years,” said Nanci. “The leadership, talent and engagement make the ACVB board the best in the world. For 36 years and counting, the ACVB has always had a quorum—this is a testament to their commitment to the travel and tourism industry in Abilene.”
The ACVB is very successful in promoting the city for groups, conventions, sports and leisure. as can be seen through the economic impact travel has on Abilene’s economy annually.
“It takes a village,” said Nanci. “Our success goes to the associates (my work family) and their commitment to our mission; having tourism assets; and leadership. I am so very thankful for the opportunity the Abilene Chamber gave me over 36 years ago.”
As Nanci begins her next chapter, she looks forward to spending more time with her new granddaughter, Magdalina Chere, traveling, advocating to end Alzheimer’s, staying involved with the TTA, and being Abilene’s number one advocate.
“The Chamber will work closely with the ACVB board to ensure a search is conducted that provides the highest level of leadership and experience as we position Abilene for continued opportunities,” said Peters. “Nanci’s tenure with the Chamber will leave an indelible impression on tourism statewide, but most certainly here in our great city.”