I am spending the week with these wonderful ladies in Dahlonega, GA, at the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College.  It is being held on the beautiful campus of University of North Georgia.  Those attending with me (standing left to right) are Demetra Sherer, Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Emily Mowers, WTVA/WLOV Television Stations, Bev Crossen, Farmhouse Home Interiors Store, Jennie Bradford Curlee, Tupelo CVB, Kylie Boring, Tupelo CVB, Allie West, Airfloat Systems, and myself.

This is my second of a three year program.  I was awarded a scholarship from the Tupelo CVB after participating in the Tourism Leadership Program in 2013/2014.  Even though I have lived in Tupelo since 1977 and thought I knew my town, I was sorely mistaken.  The six month program reminded me of what a beautiful town I live in and its amazing citizens.  It also taught me not to take for granted the many great things to see and do in our town.

Last night, the representatives from all the Mississippi communities participating in the program this year, met for dinner and fellowship.  It was such a pleasure to sit around the table with people who are passionate about their hometowns and their deep desire to share their town’s story with the world.  Yes, we are all here to learn how to better tell our story.  But more than that, we are creating new relationships and fostering old ones.  At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about-relationships.  The ones I have built here will continue to grow over the many years to come and I look forward to seeing how each one’s story blossoms.