Board ProfileMs. Williams-Smith's demonstrated leadership and business acumen with extensive P & L oversight for a publicly traded company making her particularly suited to serve on the board of either a public or private company. She has had extensive involvement in growing a large division in a profitable direction, while balancing family heritage with corporate strategy and future growth. With a keen eye for assessing, hiring and retaining talent, she possesses an understanding of the workforce of the future. In her board roles, she has led organizations through times of change and growth. She was instrumental in changing the strategic direction for Tempo Milwaukee by changing their business model from an Executive Director to CEO/President and helped the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation disassociate with a larger non profit to create its own 501 (c) 3, allowing for national growth.
Peggy Williams-Smith has held positions with several non profit organizations throughout her career.
Tempo Milwaukee, Former Board Chair
American Heart Association of Southeaster Wisconsin, Former Board Chair
Broadscope, Former Board Member
Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation, Former Board Member
Milwaukee Women, Inc., Current Board Member (Research Committee Chair)
American Red Cross, Current Board Member on the D & I Committee
Professional Dimensions, Current Board Member
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc/Summerfest Board Member
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Foundation Board Member
Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, Past Board Member
Ms. Williams-Smith is the President and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee is a destination marketing organization that is responsible for programs that promote Milwaukee as an attractive travel destination. We also enhance Milwaukee’s public image as a dynamic place to live, work and visit. Through the impact of travel, VISIT Milwaukee strengthens the community’s economic position which provides an opportunity for all of the residents in our region. Managing through the most recent pandemic has provided Ms. Williams-Smith the opportunity to pivot the organization and reset the needs of the destination to ensure that the mission and vision match with regional priorities moving forward. Prior to her current role, Ms. Williams-Smith spent just over 22 years with Marcus Hotels and Resorts, an experience based hospitality company thriving in an experience economy. They are a proud member of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), a company with unmatched experience in entertainment, restaurants, and hotels. The company has created memories and led innovation for eight decades. Having enjoyed serving five generations of people through times of growth, prosperity, change, and economic challenge, Marcus Hotels is driven to accomplish and achieve. As a senior vice president of operations, Ms. Williams-Smith led teams of people in various roles throughout her tenure. Often, she is given projects that are in a distressed state and asked to assess and then rebuild to a profitable outcome. She has played a role in acquisitions, dispositions and most importantly, creating and maintaining the culture.
Recognition & Awards
2010 40 Under 40, Milwaukee Business Journal
2010 Peak Performer Award, Junior Achievement
2016 Citywide Campaign Co-Chair for United Performing Arts Fund raising $12MM
2017 Woman of Influence, Milwaukee Business Journal
2021 Mentor Award Winner, TEMPO Milwaukee
2012-2021 Milwaukee’s Power List, Milwaukee Business Journal