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Cancer claims longtime Aurora tourism leader Sue Vos

Sue Vos former president CEO AurorAreConventiVisitors Bureau died early Tuesday morning.

Sue Vos, former president and CEO of the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, died early Tuesday morning.

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Updated: July 7, 2012 8:40AM

Sue Vos, longtime CEO of the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, died Tuesday morning after a long battle with cancer.

Vos was in the hospitality industry for 30 years, with more than 20 of them at the Aurora bureau.

“She certainly had many tremendous years at the bureau,” said Dale Berman, chairman of the visitors bureau board. “She did a lot to make it what it is today. She will surely be missed by all for her contributions to the area.”

Under Vos’ tenure, the visitors bureau grew from five member municipalities to the current 10, including Aurora, Batavia, Big Rock, Hinckley, North Aurora, Montgomery, Plano, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Yorkville — and earned dozens of Illinois Excellence in Tourism awards.

Vos was recognized as Legislative Leader of the Year by the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitors Bureau.

She retired from the bureau last summer, and left a giant void, co-workers said.

“It was tough to have her retire,” Berman said. “We knew she was not in best of health, but I didn’t think she’d go this soon.”

Berman said Vos had been sick for last several years, and found it difficult to retire after being so involved in the community and the convention and visitors bureau.

“She was a dedicated person, well respected throughout the state in her profession, and certainly throughout the area,” he said.

Kimberly Bless, president and CEO of the Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Vos was a consummate professional and personal mentor.

“She was a really special lady with an enthusiasm for life that you really have trouble finding these days. She was very passionate about her work, and exemplified tourism in Illinois,” she said. “I have a great deal of respect for her professionally and personally.”

Before her retirement, Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jan Kostner said Vos’ “passion, her creativity and her sheer will — will be most missed.”

“Under her leadership, she not only drove visitors to the Aurora area, but really placed it at the forefront,” Kostner said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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