Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Dublin (OH) Convention & Visitors Bureau's new SMERF Sales and Marketing Manager.  I am a SMERF.  A what? Leatherlips Dublin OHA Smert? A Merf? A little blue creature that ran around in a forest during the 1980’s a.k.a Smurf?  Well since I spawned from the 80’s, I might be that too … but my title encompasses all that’s green instead of blue.

SMERF is a tourism industry term that stands for Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal. So if your organization falls under any of those categories, you may be working with me.

I just began my position at the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau about two weeks ago and I’ve been soaking up every bit o’ Irish knowledge. Since I need to be an expert about this city, I’ve been exploring all of its opportunities.

My travels have  included viewing the Dublin Arts Council's Art in Public Places.  I never knew corn on the cob could look so cool!  Malcom Cochran, an Ohio artist, commemorated Dublin’s history as a farming community by creating a field of 109 human-sized ears of corn. The Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees) even has a parking area so you can get out of your car and strike a pose with your favorite cob.

One of my favorite sites is Scioto Park. A 12-foot high sculpture of Chief Leatherlips watches over the park’s sprawling hill that rolls towards the river. There’s an outdoor stage that’s ready for summer concerts and shelter houses that are perfect for get-togethers.

Seeing the Dublin sites has been very informative, but most of my time is spent in Historic Dublin’s BriHi District … in an office.  It has proven to be a wonderful place to work. The CVB office bustles above the Visitor Information Center that we keep freshly stocked with area maps, brochures and tourist information. The welcoming environment and friendly co-workers has made my huge transition much easier.

So has TehKu Tea Company, located right down the street.  I’m a sucker for the restaurant’s tea of the day and organic food selections. It has inspired me to get my own tea press. I’m also inspired to adopt-a-lion from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, after I had a meeting there. We’ll see what happens first.

Since mid-August I’ve been living in Dublin. Now that I’m working for Dublin I’m immersed in learning about the events, hotels, history and beauty. As a former Ohio State Buckeye, I feel like I’m having a love affair between these two areas. What can I say? Irish is an attitude and Dublin, Ohio is stealing my heart.

-Post by Allison