A One Woman Dynamo - Trish Steckenrider

Trish Steckenrider is the Executive Director of Tourism for the City of Metropolis - for the second time. She and her husband of ten years have three children and two dogs. She stays super busy with her job & family, and she also teaches dance classes in Paducah. All she wants for Christmas is another Louis Vuitton bag. iMeet this multi-tasking, one-woman dynamo of Metropolis tourism.

Hi, Trish. Welcome to iMeet. Tell us about yourself...

I grew up in this area. My hometown in Joppa, Illinois….population 500! I lived there until I graduated from Joppa High School in 1997.

Most of my childhood was spent with school activities - I was a cheerleader and softball player. I was in every club or activity possible….even Future Farmers of America! Not that I know anything about farming or anything agriculture related, but they had a contest that concluded with a trip to Lambert’s, so I joined.

Of course, dance was a huge part of my childhood. I started when I was three and I’m still going today. I had a wonderful childhood. My parents traveled a lot so we got to experience a lot of different places and fun things. That’s why I still love to travel today.

Tell us about your family...

My husband Stephen and I celebrated 10 years of marriage last month. Stephen is a 22 year Trooper with the Illinois State Police. We have three kids that keep us very busy.

Our oldest Logan is in 6th grade at Heath Elementary and runs with the McCracken County Cross Country Team. Our middle, Kaden is in 2nd grade at Unity Elementary and can be found flying anything with wings or a propeller at the Paducah Air Field.

The baby Ella is a ‘senior in pre-school’(we created that term) at First Baptist Church. Like me, she can be found at AMPA dance studio quite a bit. We share the house with two adorable boxer dogs, Duke and Dixie Rose. 

Tell us about your position at Metropolis Tourism...

This is actually my second time serving as the Executive Director of Tourism for Metropolis. The first time happened a little over 10 years ago, however Metropolis had not formed an actual CVB (convention and visitors bureau) and things were a bit discombobulated. 

God opened the door for me to return to this position in 2015 under the newly formed Greater Metropolis Convention and Visitors Bureau. I am now doing what I went to school to do, in my hometown, and loving every second of it. 

Unlike other CVBs that have a full staff to do different roles, I do it all. I handle the day to day operations, answer the phone calls, and fulfill information requests. I’m the “IT” person that updates the website and all our social media pages. 

I wear many hats: As the Director of Marketing so I handle all the advertising and social media for the three major events in Metropolis; The Superman Celebration, the three National Championship Archery Tournaments, and the Fort Massac Encampment…..which means the week of the events I’m up and doing TV interviews usually around 4am!   

As the Executive Director I attend meetings, conferences, and trade shows. It’s a one stop shop with me. I do have a wonderful board of Directors that supports all my efforts, which makes some of this craziness a lot easier! 

Where have you worked before this position?

I have only worked in hospitality and tourism fields. I received my bachelor’s degree in Dance from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. After I graduated I decided 20 years of dancing was enough, but I loved the entertainment business. I switched to the marketing side of things and worked with the Starlite Theatre in Branson. 

After that, I was the Director of Sales and Marketing for Mickey Rooney…..yes that very old one! I decided to leave Branson to move to Pigeon Forge where I worked as the Director of Sales for Group Travel Planet. 

I continued my role with this company as I lived in New York City while obtaining my Master’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from New York University.

When I moved back from NYC I took on the position I have now, but left to work in management level positions within the hotel industry. Now I’ve returned to the role of Executive Director for the GMCVB. (Whew!)   

Tell us about a typical day for you...

There is no such thing as a typical day! I try to run this office like any other CVB would run. Not only that, I’m trying to make it one of the best CVBs in the country that other small communities can look to as an example of what they need or should do. 

After I drop the kids off at school I get into the office and see what the day will hold. There is always some type of marketing that needs to happen. Right now I have nine projects going on simultaneously. 

What's the best part of your job? What is the hardest?

The best part of my job is seeing businesses, events and festivals grow.  I love seeing the improvements happening in our business district and that local businesses are having a great year - the word is getting out about Metropolis! 

The hardest part is trying to do it all well. I’m a bit of a perfectionist….strong type A personality, so not only making sure it all is completed but it is completed to my satisfaction level is tough! 

What do you like to do in your free time?

What free time? I love to travel with my family. We still hit my former homes of Branson and Pigeon Forge several times a year. 

I also spend a lot of time at AMPA Dance studio. I teach dance there three nights a week, so it may not be considered free time, but it is therapeutic. My favorite thing there is a dance class I teach with my sister for children and adults with special needs. Several members of the class just performed in “Stomping for a Cure” and knocked it out of the park! 

Are you ready for Christmas? Is this a busy time for you at work and at home?

I’m still in the process of getting ready. I started decorating around Halloween...I’m a Branson girl, we open Christmas shows sometimes on Halloween! At home it really is a little less crazy than normal because some of the extracurricular activities are over for the season. 

At work it is just a different kind of busy. In the summer and fall it is very crazy with the events that happen in Metropolis. Right now, it is the preparation and execution of a lot of non-event related activities in the marketing plan. 

What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

I spend way too much time on social media.  

What phrase would be considered your motto?

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

It is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I have been given so many opportunities with education and work, and just unbelievable experiences in life. I believe I am now required to give as much, if not more, back in return. I am entrusted not just with tourism, but with people’s livelihoods that depend on tourism, to make up some part of their business model. 

Parents have entrusted me with their kids that I teach. I know I have been given the talents to do what I do every day, so I feel I am entrusted with a lot and required to produce for others. 

Would you rather sleep in on a Saturday morning or get up early to conquer the day?

Sleep!  I love to rest.  I also think if you don’t rest then your body at some point will make you stop. So, when I get a chance to sleep in, which is rare with three kids and two dogs, I take it. 

What's on your Christmas list this year?

I have a perpetual request for a Louis Vuitton bag…but that won’t happen until I make a trip back to Canal Street in NYC! I don’t really have anything on my list. We are heading back to Branson a few days after Christmas. Just being there with my family, seeing my friends and a few shows there, and going to Silver Dollar City to see a gazillion Christmas Lights will be enough for me.

Wow, Trish, I feel we know a lot more about you now. We wish you a wonderful Christmas and much success with your career.