Stephanie Pace Brown


Stephanie started her career in economic and marketing research with the Ohio Office of Tourism and Colonial Williamsburg. Data-driven decisions were the foundation of her work as Vice President of Public Affairs for Mount Vernon, and as the CEO of two destination organizations – Alexandria, Virginia, and Asheville, North Carolina.


Stephanie has gained a deep appreciation of the multi-faceted tourism industry and has served on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association, Destinations International and as Chair of the Destinations International Foundation. She has assumed state leadership roles on the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board, the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition and the North Carolina Travel Industry Association. On a local level, she has recently served on the boards of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, Greater Asheville Regional Airport and the Asheville Riverfront Redevelopment Commission. 


During her most recent post as president and CEO of Explore Asheville, Stephanie led the development of Asheville as a national travel destination and guided its product development efforts. She is a passionate advocate for the power of travel to benefit communities, and for the importance of research and analytics to guide tourism promotion investments. 


Research Experience

• Director of Customer Research, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

• Manager of Research, Ohio Office of Tourism

• Research Advisory Board, U.S. Travel Association

• 30 years of client-side applied research in attractions, hospitality, and destinations



• B.A. University of Mount Union

• Graduate studies at the Ohio State University


Contact Stephanie



I grew up in a small town in Ohio that did not have tourism, in a family that did not travel. So, I feel exceptionally fortunate to have discovered such a rewarding career in the tourism industry. My favorite day on vacation was during an especially rainy trip to Ireland. We had a single glorious day of sunshine to walk the Kerry Way which was just across the street from the house where we were staying. We walked the ridgeline with spectacular ocean views, crisp November breezes, and an occasional flock of sheep. Our walk ended at an Irish pub and the best burger I have ever had.