Meet the Staff
Claude has worked in the public assembly facility and destination marketing industry for the past 36 years. Having held management positions in Tulsa,
Tour & Travel Sales Director
Carolyn has helped guide Fort Smith's tourism effort since 1992 as one of the original Convention & Visitors Bureau staff members. She is nationally recognized for her group travel sales expertise and was inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. She is well-known for the establishment of the Fort Smith Visitors Center and as a spokesperson for Fort Smith. Carolyn greets groups at the visitors center in the character of Miss Laura and recounts the intriguing past of the only remaining structure that was a part of Fort Smith's infamous "red light" district during the days of the Old West. Her efforts even led to the mansion becoming the first former bordello to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to all of this, Carolyn coordinates the visitors center volunteer group, "Miss Laura's Starrs," who provide free guided tours of the building seven days a week.
Convention & Event Sales Manager
Amy was born in Enid, Oklahoma and raised in Broken Arrow. She relocated to the Fort Smith area in 1997 where she raised her three children Lauren,
Communications & Event Services Manager
Russ was born in Texarkana, Texas and raised in Ashdown, Arkansas. In high school, he would begin working with the Adobe Creative Suite as the Student Editor of Panther Zone Television. Always attracted to creative outlets, the software was a perfect fit and led to his decision to attend The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (GO HOGS!) where he would earn a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism; Advertising & Public Relations. Upon graduating, he worked for Townsquare Media and Townsquare Interactive as a Digital Media Strategist & Account Executive, and later as an Assistant Digital Media Sales Manager. In 2014, he decided to relocate back to Northwest Arkansas and would ultimately bring a broad list of skills related to graphic design, cross-platform marketing strategies, digital best practices, communications, and technology to our team. As Claude likes to say, "Russ makes the dingers ding and the whistles blow. He's 'The Guy' for all things related to technology."
Debra was born in Compton, California and raised in Bellflower, California. When she married her husband, Dave, she relocated to Pocola, Oklahoma where she worked for several years at Pocola City Hall. Afterwards, she worked at Tyson Foods – in Fort Smith – within the Accounting & HR Department for nearly 20 years. Debra and Dave have one son, Court. Luckily, for the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau, Debra would apply for a position through the City of Fort Smith and become a valuable member of our team. As we like to say, Debra is our "Zookeeper" and keeps everything organized and on track!