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Jackson visitors bureau names tourism’s best

JACKSON — The “best of the best” of Jackson’s tourism industry were honored recently at the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (CVB’s) 2009 Hometown Hero Awards ceremony held at the Jackson Convention Complex.

These volunteers, employees and organizations were nominated and selected as tops in their industry by their peers, an industry that supports more than 22,000 jobs in Jackson with a $425 million annual payroll.

Headlining the luncheon were the SUMITT Awards (Superlative Merit in Travel and Tourism), which recognize tourism-related businesses and organizations that have made significant achievements.  These “Best of Tourism” are: 

  •  2009 Attraction of the Yea r —Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
  •  2009 Festival/Event of the Year — Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade & Festival
  •  2009 Friend of Tourism — Jeff Good, Mangia Bene
  •  2009 Hotel of the Year — Hilton Jackson & Convention Center 
  •  2009 Restaurant of the Year— Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint
  •  2009 Supplier of the Year—Sysco Food Services of Jackson

“It is imperative that we, as tourism professionals, recognize the efforts of our visitor industry partners,” said Wanda Collier-Wilson, president and CEO of the Jackson CVB.

The prestigious Tourism Visionary Award was given to the Jackson Progressives for forming an eclectic group of forward-thinking, young Jacksonians focused on pushing our city into the future. 

Special Shining Example Awards are given to tourism entities and individuals for outstanding contributions that enhance the quality of life in Jackson, and who serve as role models for others in the industry.  Winners are:

Shining Examples

  •  Ben Allen —

Downtown Jackson Partners

  •  Peter Sharp —

The Fairview Inn

Hometown Hero Awards are given to individuals who have made a measurable impact on bringing tourism business to the city.  Awards were presented in the following three categories:  

Industry Employees

  •  Cindy Brinson — 

Hilton Jackson Convention Center

  •  Leigh Guy — 

Hilton Jackson Convention Center

  •  LaGina Fisher —

 Jackson CVB

  •  Suzanne Davis —

Jackson CVB

  •  Michael Busbin—Manship House Museum
  •  John McGee, Charles Tillman, Joe Kincaid, Charlie Johnson, Mike Jordan, Phillip Flanagan and Demond Cooper —

City of Jackson, Building Management Division

  •  Linda Brunt — 

Chic-fil-A at AmSouth Plaza

Meeting Planners

  •  Irene T. Jones, Ph.D. — 

NAACP Southeast Region, Civil Rights Advocacy Institute

  • Sidney Sumrall — Mississippi Gideon International
  • Gloria Scott — 

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Mississippi Southwest Annual Conference 

Event Planners

  •  John Sewell —

Mississippi Blues Marathon

  •  Julia Daily —

Chimneyville Crafts Festival

  •  Ann S. Burton — 

Mississippi Jazz Foundation

The winners are part of an industry that brought in more than 3.2 million travelers to Jackson in 2008.

—Mississippi Business Journal

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