COLUMBUS, Miss. – Visit Columbus CEO Nancy Carpenter has been named the 2021 Member of the Year by the Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA). This award is given to a 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 Carpenter.
MTA recognized the impact and accomplishments of the state’s tourism industry at an awards ceremony held during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Miss., October 20-22. 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.
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, Carpenter led her community to its largest year of growth since its 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 leading the opening of safe travel to Mississippi.
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.