Visit Abilene, Texas is thrilled to announce that our very own distinguished tourism industry veteran,Nanci Liles, Executive Director, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Gene Phillips Hospitality Award.

This prestigious award was presented by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) at ceremonies held last night during the annual Texas Travel Counselors Conference in Amarillo. The award recognizes Liles’s distinguished career and her longstanding efforts on behalf of TxDOT’s Travel Information Centers and the state’s annual $68.7 billion travel industry.

Liles is well-known in the Texas travel industry, having headed the Abilene CVB for over 32 years. The Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) has recognized her with two of its highest honors, the Tall in Texas Award in 2008 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. She has also held leadership positions with TTIA, the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and the Texas Forts Trail, as well as being active in the Abilene community. She is a key advocate for the industry, working closely with legislators and other key decision makers to boost awareness of the importance of travel to the Texas economy.

“To have such an esteemed leader in the travel and tourism industry, right here in Abilene, continues to be one of our communities biggest assets,” Doug Peters, Abilene Chamber CEO said. “Her talent and , but her drive is what has brought Abilene immense success. Through her work, Abilene has seen billions of dollars pumped into our economy for through tourism, and equally as important, she has created a strong brand reputation and valuable partnerships that will continue to help Abilene prosper for generations.”

This award also recognizes Liles’s long-standing support of TxDOT’s Travel Information Centers. She keeps in close touch with TxDOT travel counselors, making sure they have the latest information on tourism opportunities in Abilene for their visitors. Under her direction, Abilene has served as the host city for the Texas Travel Counselors Conference and for the TTIA Study Tour on multiple occasions.

The Gene Phillips Hospitality Award is named in honor of the late Gene Phillips, who managed Aquarena Springs in San Marcos and was an influential, driving force in the emerging tourism industry during the 1970s. Each year the award is presented by TxDOT Travel Information Division staff and recognizes one person for his or her outstanding lifetime accomplishments within the Texas travel and tourism industry.

Thank you for your service to Abilene, Nanci!

#visitabilene #abileneproud #ourbossrocks