Ms. Frances Harris Smiley is Alabama's Welcome Centers Manager. On Monday, October 20th she will officially welcome the Friendship Network Group. The Network is part of a large delegation who will arrive in Montgomery, Alabama from Nigeria for the International Business Symposium. The symposium will be held at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel & Spa located downtown Montgomery, 201 Tallapoosa Street from Oct 20 - 23. The Business Conference is being hosted by George Williams, Chairman of the Alabama Benin Trade & Economic Forum. Frances Smiley, CTIS, TMP, is a 33 year career Alabama State Employee and is the Supervisor of the eight Alabama Welcome Centers. She serves as the Coordinator of the State’s Heritage Tourism Program. She is a Certified Travel Industry Specialist and Certified Tourism Marketing Professional.
Throughout her Tourism Career she has worked in group tour marketing, served as a meeting planner, coordinated matching and special grants, and developed the nation’s first statewide Black heritage tourism brochure.
In 1994, she received the Phoenix Award from the American Society of Travel Writers, a delegate to the Nation's First White House Conference on Travel and Tourism in 1995 and a delegate appointed by Gov. Riley to the 2005 US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Summit. In August 1997, she received the Nation's first "Trailblazer Pioneer Award for Multicultural Tourism", from the Multicultural Tourism Conference, and the award is henceforth named, "The Frances Smiley Trailblazer Award."
She has participated in tourism conferences and programs, historic preservation, professional development, heritage tourism development and diversity marketing projects and programs throughout North America.