Mississippi Business Journal Names Visit Columbus CEO “Top CEO” Honor

JACKSON, Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) –  Visit Columbus CEO Nancy Carpenter was recognized yesterday by the Mississippi Business Journal for her outstanding leadership, sharp business acumen, and dedicated service to Lowndes County. Since January 2011, Carpenter has served in the role of CEO and Executive Director of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Top CEO” honorees were announced yesterday morning at a breakfast meeting at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson. Recipients were chosen for excelling in their respective fields while impacting their companies and communities.

“Nancy Carpenter has been a tremendous asset to the city of Columbus and Lowndes County as a whole for 15 years,” said Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau Chairperson of the Board Liz Terry. “During that time, her leadership and tenacity have helped shape Columbus into one of the state’s premier tourism destinations, and she is more than deserving of this incredible accolade.”

Specifically, despite the innumerable obstacles that the tourism industry has faced since the COVID-19 pandemic, Carpenter has led Columbus to its largest years of growth since its 1986 municipal incorporation. Visitors to Columbus generated over $115 million in tourism revenue in 2021, and that number continues to increase. Furthermore, the hospitality industry remains one of Columbus’ top employers, with more than 1,360 people working directly in travel and tourism-related fields. For her significant contributions to the advancement of area tourism, Carpenter received the prestigious Mississippi Tourism Association “Member of the Year” Award in 2021.

A tireless crusader for all things Columbus, Carpenter has also remained active in promoting the city on both the local and national levels, including as a Wingman and Honorary Commander at the Columbus Air Force Base and as an advisory board member of the Golden Triangle Development Link.

Her list of civic engagements does not stop there, though.

For many years, Nancy Carpenter represented Mississippi State University as a delegate on the Inter-Alumni Council. Carpenter has served as a speaker and presenter at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Authority’s annual conferences; a member of the Mississippi University for Women’s Town and Tower Board of Directors; and an advisory board member of the university’s Passport to Wellness Advisory Board, just to name a few.

In 2011, Governor Haley Barbour appointed Carpenter to the Mississippi Civil Rights Commission. She then was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the governing body for the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. She was reappointed to this important role in 2021. She was confirmed by the Mississippi Legislature.

For her dedicated service to Mississippi University for Women, she was awarded their “Distinguished Achievement” Award in 2019. In the spring of 2020, Carpenter was named one of five Golden Magnolias by Mississippi Magazine as a leader in community advancement. She also received top honors from the Mississippi Business Journal in 2017, when she was named the “Business Woman of the Year” Award out of a statewide slate of finalists.

Most recently, Carpenter was awarded a certificate for “Strategic Fundraising for Nonprofit Leaders” from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Categories: Local News