Southland convention bureau executive to retire
OLYMPIA FIELDS -- After 31 years of lobbying, educating and passionately advocating on behalf of the region and the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, Executive Vice President Sally Schlesinger has announced her retirement, effective June 30.
A certified public accountant and certified destination management executive, Schlesinger's strong dedication and passion for tourism's economic value and its impact on the quality of life for the Chicago Southland region is what she credits for inspiring her throughout her distinguished career.
Winner of the Daily Herald Business Ledger's 2015 CFO of the Year honor, Schlesinger was instrumental in growing the CSCVB budget from $700,000 to $2.3 million, successfully adding 14 municipalities to funding partnerships and selflessly filled in as acting president/CEO on four occasions. In 2002, she earned her CDME (certified destination management executive) certificate, which is the tourism industry's highest individual educational achievement.
Other career highlights include playing a pivotal role in getting the name changed for the South Holland oasis from Lincoln Oasis to Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis, giving the estimated 50,000 daily travelers along 80/94 a location identifier. She also helped obtain a state grant to install a visitor information kiosk at that location, which serves 750 plus travelers a month, thus allowing the CVB to further promote Chicago Southland businesses.
She also assisted with product development projects bringing the necessary data and people together. Two of the larger projects were: Toyota Park (now SeatGeek Stadium, the fourth professional soccer specific stadium in the United States) and the Tinley Park Convention Center.
Most recently, Sally's leadership helped the CVB and Chicago Southland tourism industry navigate through its most tumultuous time: the worldwide COVID pandemic.
"Forget how lucky we were to have her as our executive vice president, but the entire Chicago Southland community has had no bigger fan and stronger advocate than Sally Schlesinger," said Jim Garrett, CSCVB CEO and president. "She's had a tremendous impact on the region and exhibited the highest level of integrity, professionalism, and pride in representing the Chicago Southland CVB. Sally will be enormously missed by all of us and goes into retirement leaving the CVB with an incredible legacy."
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination management and marketing organization for Chicago's 62 South and Southwest suburbs.