Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce's Jennifer Harrison to Receive Pacific Coast Business Times' 40 Under 40 Award

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Director of the chamber’s Visitors Bureau to be recognized for long-time dedication to the community and commitment to positioning Santa Maria as a must-visit vacation and meeting destination

Tonight, Jennifer Harrison – director of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Visitors Bureau – will receive a prestigious 40 Under 40 award from the Pacific Coast Business Times.

Born in Santa Maria and an Arroyo Grande High School graduate, Harrison briefly left to work as a defense contractor, but returned to share the area she loves with others. She joined the Santa Maria Chamber as Bureau Coordinator in February 2006, and within a few months was promoted to Convention Sales Manager. Harrison spent the next eight years planning, coordinating and hosting special events for corporate and social groups, assuming increased responsibilities and continuing to deliver exceptional client experiences. This commitment was recognized by her promotion to director of the Chamber’s Visitors Bureau in 2016.

“I’ve known Jennifer for more than 12 years and have always been impressed by her dedicated drive, her professionalism and infinite passion in positioning Santa Maria as ‘the hub of the Central Coast,’” said Karen Gridiron, Director of Sales at the Radisson Hotel Santa Maria. “She’s truly been a unifying force within the tourism and hospitality community.”

Harrison currently supervises all tourism and group marketing programs for the community and actively markets the Santa Maria Valley as a preeminent leisure, recreation and group event destination. Some of her noteworthy accomplishments include introducing the Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley to provide an affordable, safe transportation option for visitors; implementing a hospitality cross-education initiative for front-of-house staff to familiarize them with local attractions; fostering strategic alliances with the Santa Barbara County Vintners, Visit Santa Barbara and Visit Santa Ynez Valley; and partnering with local wine and food producers to showcase the Santa Maria Valley to thousands of wine connoisseurs at the prestigious World of Pinot Noir event.

A liaison to the Santa Maria Tourism Marketing District, Harrison is a member of Visit California, the Central Coast Tourism Council, and the California Society of Association Executives. She also serves on the board of Dunes Center in Guadalupe, CA.

The 40 Under 40 awards celebrate some of the top up-and-coming professionals under the age of 40 in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, in industries ranging from finance, real estate and business services to health care, education and nonprofits. Honorees will be lauded in the publication’s 18th annual ceremony being held at the Topa Tower Club in Oxnard.

For more information about the 40 Under 40 awards, visit https://www.pacbiztimes.com/2018/08/24/business-times-announces-2018-40-under-40-honorees/.

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William Fernandez