Nancy Carpenter named Mississippi Tourism Association Member of the Year

JACKSON, Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) – Visit Columbus CEO Nancy Carpenter has been named the 2021 Mississippi Tourism Association Member of the Year by the Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA). This award is given to an outstanding MTA member who has gone above and beyond in supporting the organization and the statewide tourism industry.

It is a tremendous honor, and I am truly humbled to be named ‘Member of the Year’ for the Mississippi Tourism Association. There are so many Tourism Professionals who have contributed greatly to the advancement of tourism in the State of Mississippi – our fourth largest industry,” said Visit Columbus CEO, Nancy Carpenter.

MTA recognized the impact and accomplishments of the state’s tourism industry at its tourism awards ceremony held during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Mississippi, October 20-22, 2021. This annual educational and professional development event brought together around 200 tourism industry professionals from across the state as well as tourism partners from the surrounding region.

The awards program gives MTA an opportunity to recognize members who excel in various sectors of the industry. Awards were presented in 19 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement.

It is truly an honor to celebrate these members who work tirelessly for their communities and for our organization. Member leaders like Nancy help to strengthen and grow Mississippi tourism, and they are so valuable to our success,” said MTA Executive Director Danielle Morgan.

Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic this past year, Nancy Carpenter led her community to their greatest year and largest growth since their inception in 1986. She initiated, organized, and presented the inaugural MTA Governor’s Conference on Annual Roundtable for Past MTA Presidents. She is a founder and board member of the newly formed Destination Marketing Organization of Mississippi, a tourism advocacy group that has been instrumental in opening safe travel to Mississippi. She is committed to bringing strategic passion and insight to the advancement of state tourism.

Carpenter is actively involved in the promotion of Columbus in other national and international arenas as a Wingman and Honorary Commander at Columbus Air Force Base, a global pilot training center, and as a member of the advisory board of the Golden Triangle Development Link. She has also supported the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Authority as a speaker and presenter at annual conferences. She has served on the Board of Directors of Town and Tower at the Mississippi University for Women, as well as the Passport to Wellness Advisory Board at The W. For her dedication to The W, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2019.

In 2011, Governor Haley Barbour appointed Carpenter to the Civil Rights Museum Commission. She was named to the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), receiving confirmation from the State of Mississippi. In 2021, she was re-appointed to the MDAH Board of Trustees and confirmed by the Mississippi Legislature. The MDAH Board governs the Mississippi Museum of History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Today, Carpenter serves on the boards of both the Mississippi Museum of History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which opened in December 2017, receiving 185,000 guests to date. She has served as president of the Mississippi Tourism Association and served as a member of its Executive Board. She was named Business Woman of the Year by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2017. In 2020, she was named one of five Golden Magnolias by Mississippi Magazine, as a leader in community advancement.

Mississippi’s tourism industry is filled with immensely talented professionals, and the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic have shed light on their resiliency and dedication to our communities and state. We honor their contributions to Mississippi’s fourth-largest industry, and we are grateful for their steadfast support of our association’s mission. We heartily congratulate all statewide award winners for their outstanding accomplishments,” said Marlo Dorsey, 2021-2022 president of MTA.

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