Chris Smith

Chris Smith

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) has made several staff changes in its Advancement Department to support increased institutional programming and strategic planning efforts:

• Chris Chilton steps into a newly created role at BRIT, corporate relations manager, from his current position as marketing director. The new role is responsible for planning and managing the logistics of wine-related business for BRIT and annual special events, soliciting corporate gifts (sponsors and corporate memberships), and other advancement activities as appropriate. Chilton joined BRIT in 2010 as a marketing director bringing more than 30 years of marketing experience to the position. In his role as marketing director, he spearheaded the creation and successful implementation of BRIT’s International Sustainable Wine Competition, and more recently launched the creation of the Texas Sustainable Wine Competition in partnership with the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. “Chris Chilton laid the groundwork for BRIT community and global awareness through his marketing and public relations efforts, like the international wine competition and launching the Texas wine competition,” said Christie Eckler, vice president for advancement. “He created brand standards and brand recognition that will allow BRIT to continue to be a key research and education institute.”

• Chris Smith is promoted to marketing director from her current position as marketing manager. The new role is responsible for raising public awareness of BRIT’s mission, raising revenue through annual membership purchases and select public outreach programs. The role is both strategic and operational in nature and encompasses management of all marketing, market development and communication tools. Smith joined BRIT in January, bringing more than 20 years of nonprofit experience with 10 years in the conservation and environmental sectors. “In a few short months as marketing manager, Chris Smith, has streamlined BRIT’s digital footprint and taken the research and education content to another level of awareness. Chris Chilton recommended her to me and she has gone above and beyond what we asked of her in taking on this role. As we decided to create a position that would look at our corporate relations and wine-related business, it was apparent that Chris Smith was the choice for director of marketing and communications at BRIT,” said Christie Eckler, vice president of advancement. “Chris brings a strategic and forward driven approach that is needed for the future of BRIT and its pending partnerships.”

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