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Contact: Josh Duke Josh@VisitHendricksCounty.com
DANVILLE, IN (March 17, 2022) – Visit Hendricks County Executive Director Jaime Bohler Smith received one of the state’s most prestigious tourism honors this week.
Smith was named Member of the Year during the Indiana Tourism Association’s annual conference, which brings together tourism leaders from across the state for professional development and advocacy of the Indiana tourism industry. The announcement marked the first time anyone from Visit Hendricks County has ever received the award.
“When it comes to Jaime, what you see is what you get. And what you get is a bold leader not afraid of trying new things without ever losing sight of the important and necessary work she and her team do every day at Visit Hendricks County,” said Rob DeCleene, Indiana Tourism Association (ITA) Board President and Visit South Bend Mishawaka Executive Director. “Jaime truly emulates what an ITA member of the year should, day in and day out. Her team is better because of that, her destination is better because of that, and her statewide industry and association are all better because of that.”
Smith joined Visit Hendricks County in 2002 and has grown the organization to more than $2 million in tax collections and eight employees while serving in marketing, sales, communications and administration. Prior to returning to her hometown in Hendricks County, Jaime worked as the Brown County CVB Sales Manager for three years. Smith shared during her acceptance speech her first tourism job included fulfilling the catering orders for the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) meetings, and now she sits at that same table as a member of the CIB.
“It is a surreal experience at times knowing where I started my career to where I am now,” Smith said. “I’ve grown up in this industry and it’s quite an honor to be recognized by my peers who I have admired for many years.”
Among her many accomplishments at Visit Hendricks County, she worked on a collaborative tax increase with the county that allowed a move from 5% to 8% innkeeper’s tax with a share to the county for the use to develop a county park, and county fairgrounds or a county promotion. Since 2008, both the Hendricks County Parks and Recreation and the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds have received more than $3 million because of this collaboration.
She also spearheaded a redevelopment project that brought a new 175-room, full-service Embassy Suites Hotel and 25,000-square-foot conference space to Plainfield. She worked tirelessly with local and state stakeholders to make what had become a decade-long dream a reality. This project was a first in the county and brought added economic development through conference and tourism business as well as jobs to the county.
Under her direction, Hendricks County continues to flourish with record numbers each year in hotel stays and visitor spending all while developing and expanding new programming.
Jaime also is a tourism industry leader and mentor across the state to so many. She is current Past President of the ITA having previously served as the Vice President and President, chairman of the ITA’s Government Relations committee, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Tourism, Event and Sport Management at IUPUI and current member on the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County.