Rosemarie Steele, marketing director for the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau, will retire after 17 years with the organization.

Steele joined the CVB in 1997 and served as Marketing Director for the past 11 years. As marketing director, she oversaw the CVB’s brand development process and elevated Paducah’s position in the travel market through sophisticated targeted marketing campaigns by acquiring the services of a professional ad agency. In it’s first year, the CVB’s “Feel the Movement” campaign was awarded Best of Show by the Kentucky Tourism Industry Association (KTIA). She has overseen the development of four generations of CVB websites. The most recent site received both first place honors and a Judges Choice award by KTIA in 2011. She recently developed ads for Paducah in French, German and English for the European Patchwork Meeting, an international quilt show in France, working with the show organizer on the language translations.

Steele was the latest architect of Paducah’s UNESCO Creative Cities Network application and worked directly with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the CVB executive staff on Paducah’s 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations application. She developed the Distinctively Creative campaign components and strategy, along with her coworkers, which soared Paducah to national “Fan Favorite” status of the 2011 DDD communities. She has worked with national and international media and has authored travel articles in Back Home in Kentucky, Arts Across Kentucky and several other publications.

Steele served on a number of committees and boards over the years including the Murals Advisory Board, Yeiser Art Center Board and Summer Festival committee. She was instrumental in bringing the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Celebration to Paducah in 2003.

The Paducah Visitors Bureau will be honoring Steele at an informal gathering on October 10. Friends and well-wishers are welcome to attend.