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AMLA’s Reist, Pierce receive state tourism awards

DECATUR – The top executives of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association were among several North Alabamians to be recognized by the Alabama Tourism Department.

AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist was named Tourism Executive of the Year and Vice President Angie Pierce is Tourism Industry Employee of the Year, The awards were two of 15 awards presented at the recent Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

“We have incredibly strong tourism industry professionals in Alabama, and those recognized this year are no exception,” said Lee Sentell, director of the Alabama Tourism Department. “Their unwavering leadership and dedication continue to elevate Alabama as one of the go-to destinations in America. We are proud to recognize the people and organizations that contribute to the success of tourism in the state.”

Candidates for the tourism executive of the year and tourism industry employee of the year are nominated by industry peers.

“It is an honor to receive the Tourism Executive of the Year award from the Alabama Tourism Department,” said Reist. “It is a privilege to lead a talented and committed team, and without them, our board of directors, 500-plus members and tourism partners, the North Alabama tourism industry would not be a $4.3 billion economic powerhouse.

“I thoroughly enjoy what I do and find it an honor to market and represent North Alabama within our state, across the country and internationally.”

Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) Vice President Angie Pierce (Contributed)

For Pierce, the award was an anniversary present, in a way.

“In July, I celebrated my 25th anniversary with AMLA,” she said. “I had not given much thought to tourism as an industry, much less a career so I am forever thankful I was given the opportunity 25 years ago to be a part of a wonderful organization surrounded by people who have allowed me to grow and share my love of North Alabama.

“I have had the privilege of meeting and working with so many talented individuals and seen places I doubt I would have seen otherwise. It is an honor to be recognized by my peers as the Tourism Industry Employee of the Year.”

Other award winners hailing from North Alabama are:

  • Don Dukemineer, Decatur Morgan County Tourism, Governor’s Tourism Award
  • Rock the South, Cullman, Event of the Year
  • Alabama State Sen. Garlan Gudger, Tourism Advocate-Government
  • Judy Ryals, Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Alabama Travel Council Lifetime Achievement and Alabama Tourism Department Directors Award.

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