Business News

Unanimous approval for longtime marketing and tourism senior executive

KIm Summers

Roseville, Calif. – Longtime marketing and tourism senior executive Kim Summers has been named Chief Executive Officer of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds, organizations that attract more than 150,000 people and generate $21 million to the economy every year in Placer Valley.

Summers has been with Placer Valley Tourism since 2008, hired as the hospitality manager and later promoted to marketing director of the organization that brings hundreds of events annually – from anime conferences and gem shows to softball and volleyball tournaments – to Placer Valley.

She has been serving as interim CEO of both organizations since early March 2022, following the sudden death of former CEO David Attaway.

“I am so excited and thrilled to become the next CEO for Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds”

Kim Summers

The next chapter…

The position includes managing @the Grounds, a first-of-its-kind effort on the West Coast to transform the decades-old Placer County Fairgrounds into a multipurpose event campus that has become a model project for the tourism industry nationwide.

“We are very excited for this next chapter of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds, and look forward to the continued success of both organizations,” said Lauryl Hernandez, Chair of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds board of directors and General Manager of Hyatt Place in Roseville. “Kim is absolutely the right person to lead these organizations to the next level.”

A national search was conducted for the high-profile position, with more than 300 applicants. A selection committee interviewed three finalists and Summers. The organizations’ boards on Monday (Sept. 19) unanimously approved the hiring of Summers.

“Passion, experience and knowledge”

“Kim Summers brings passion, experience and knowledge regarding the health of the tourism and hotel industry in Placer Valley,” said selection committee chair Stephen Makis, Treasurer of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds boards and Director of Personal Lines for Bender Insurance Solutions. “She is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to make @the Grounds a premier venue to gather, celebrate and compete, while fostering economic and community growth in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.”

Summers worked closely with Attaway after he arrived in 2010, when about 100 events were booked in Placer Valley. Today, Placer Valley Tourism attracts more than 500 events per year, from regional sports competitions to the Brick Palooza-Lego Festival in November.

“I am so excited and thrilled to become the next CEO for Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds,” Summers said. “Through my career at Placer Valley Tourism, I have seen the organization grow tremendously through sports tourism and evolve with the addition of @the Grounds and the Roebbelen Center.”

Attaway was one of the visionaries and leaders of the $47 million transformation of the former Placer County Fairgrounds into @the Grounds, which celebrated its fifth-year anniversary this summer. The 61-acre campus can accommodate a range of events, including large business conferences and concerts to major sports tournaments.

Roebbelen Center

The 160,000-square-foot Roebbelen Center is the jewel of @the Grounds. The $34 million building – able to accommodate 12 full-length basketball courts or 24 volleyball courts – was completed in February 2020, a few weeks before the arrival of the Covid pandemic and the statewide lockdown that followed. The Roebbelen Center was able to hold some smaller events during the height of Covid, and has resumed large events.

Working on the transformation of @the Grounds and development of the Roebbelen Center was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Summers said. “It has been an honor to work on these projects and I’m excited to continue the momentum and champion the success of the Placer Valley area hotels.”

In addition to attracting events and money-spending visitors, @the Grounds serves as a much-appreciated and often-used community resource.

@the Grounds

@the Grounds was a COVID testing site during the early days of the pandemic, and later as a COVID vaccination center. And Cal Fire has been using @the Grounds – all of the buildings, the All American Speedway and the parking lots – for fire crews battling the nearby Mosquito Fire since mid-September. @the Grounds remains home of the annual Placer County Fair.

Summers, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing from Sacramento State University, was the Sacramento River Cats senior promotions manager for four seasons before joining Placer Valley Tourism.

Summers will oversee a four-person staff at Placer Valley Tourism, and another 15 full-time team members @the Grounds.

“We have such a great community,” said Summers, who is married and has three children. “Together, we can do great things and I cannot wait to get started.”

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