Nanci Liles, Executive Director of the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau, celebrates her retirement | KTAB

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) – Executive Director Nanci Liles announced in September that she would be retiring after 36 years of service with the Abilene Convention and Tourism Board (ACVB). During that time, she oversaw 7,839 conventions, 2.6 million visitors and $ 614.5 million in economic impact for the city.

While she has built a reputation and a legacy that will continue to affect Abilene for decades to come, Liles says she did not initially intend to stay in Abilene for as long as she did.

“No, it was going to be a stepping stone, you know, to a bigger city. But what turned out to be a great foundation for me to plant myself and raise a family, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way, ”Liles says.

First arriving in Abilene in 1982, Liles led the charge on many projects that resulted in the Abilene we know today.

“Tourism in our community costs over $ 400 million a year now and we didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of due diligence, and Nanci has led this effort, ”said Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams.

“She literally put Abilene, Texas on the map of the place to visit,” added Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Doug Peters.

One of Liles’ biggest and most exciting projects was the downtown hotel and convention center. After years of advocacy and planning, this project was recently launched.

“She has continued to promote this vision and others have been infected with it over time, and in a year and a half we will see the outcome of Nanci’s dream,” said Peters.

While Liles knows she will be missed, she says now is the right time and that she feels great about the future of her job and the city.

“I’m at peace with it. I know I’ll miss the job, but I’ll continue to be Abilene’s greatest cheerleader, ”Liles says.

At the end of the celebration, Mayor Williams presented Liles with a key to the city to signify the great impact she has had.

Now that she has resigned, Liles says she will work as an Alzheimer’s disease research and awareness advocate in loving memory of her late husband, who suffered from the disease for many years.


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