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Rural Tourism Conference


Academic year: 2022

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October 22 – 24


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Rural Tourism Conference



Welcome to Gadsden & Etowah County!

We are so excited to be able to share the beauty of our city and county with our friends in rural tourism from Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee!

The AL/MS/TN Rural Tourism Conference is always one of our favorite conferences of the year, because of the people and the unique towns they represent, and this year it comes to us. Yay!

Look forward to two good days of learning, networking, eating, drinking, and having FUN in the Greater Gadsden Area!

— Hugh A. Stump III, Executive Director, Greater Gadsden Area Tourism

Monday – October 22, 2018

1:00 pm Board buses at Holiday Inn Express Gadsden Noccalula Falls Park Tour

Optional Hike to Waterfall View Public Art and Murals 4:00 pm Return to Holiday Inn Express

5:45 pm Board Buses to reception at Back Forty Beer Company 8:00 pm Return to Holiday Inn Express

Tuesday – October 23, 2018

8:15 am Board buses to Pitman Theatre – Downtown Gadsden 8:45-9:15 am Welcome

Mayor Sherman Guyton

Grey Brennan, Alabama Tourism Department 9:15–10:00 am “Reaching Millennials”

Neville Bhada, CEO, Tourism Skills Group 10–10:15 am Exhibitor Introduction

Who We Are and What We Do Exhibitors (3 minutes each) 10:15–10:45 am Break

Visit Exhibitors’ Booths

10:45–11:30 am “Events – Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers”

Amy Doherty, Events Manager, City of Suwanee


11:30am–1:15 pm Lunch — Catered by Local Joes 1:15–2:00 pm “Team Building”

Dr. Bruce Pieper, CEO, Emerge2LEAD, LLC

2–2:15 pm STS Marketing College Experience — Tina Robbins 2:15–2:45 pm Break — Frios Gourmet Pops

Visit Exhibitors’ Booths 2:45–3:30 pm “Social Media Strategy”

Randa Simpson Hovater, Media Relations Manager, Visit Florence 3:30 pm Load buses to return to Holiday Inn

5:30 pm Load buses and depart Holiday Inn for downtown Gadsden 6–7:00 pm Reception at Gadsden Museum of Art

7:00 pm Dinner (on your own) in historic downtown Gadsden 8:30 pm Load buses to return to Holiday Inn

Wednesday – October 24, 2018

8:15 am Board buses to Pitman Theatre 8:45–9:30 am Downtown Gadsden/Main Street

Kay Moore, Executive Director, Downtown Gadsden, Inc.

9:30–10:15 am “Are Your Communications Half Closed or Half Open?”

Brian Blank, Director of Marketing, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

10:15–10:45 am Break

Visit Exhibitors’ Booths Wine & Cheese Tasting

10:45–11:30 am “Agritourism Panel – Hitting the North Alabama Wine Trail”

Tami Brooks (moderator), Brooks Consulting Services Janie Coppey, Owner, Wills Creek Winery

Becky Berta, Owner, Jules J. Berta Vineyards Scott Lee, Owner, Maraella Winery

11:30–11:45 am Wrap-up

David Otto Legacy Award 11:45 am Wine Pull, Silent Auction

12:00 pm Adjournment – load buses back to Holiday Inn


“Reaching Millenials”

Neville Bhada is the founder and CEO of Tourism Skills Group, a company that focuses on strategic planning, research and marketing needs of the travel and tourism, and association industries. Find out more at tourismskillsgroup.com

neville@tourismskillsgroup.com | 770-693-2988 Neville Bhada

Amy Doherty

Dr. Bruce Pieper

Randa Simpson

“Events: Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers”

Amy Doherty is the events manager for the City of Suwanee, Georga. Over ten years ago she started as a part-time employee with 27 events. She now oversees 40 plus events a year. Under her leadership, Suwanee’s events have won many awards and continue to grow and diversify each season. Amy has spoken at Southeast Festivals and Events Association one-day seminars and annual conferences for several years. She also speaks each year at the Southeastern Tourism Society’s Marketing College where she is at TMP graduate addressing the second year students on the Festivals and Events track.

adoherty@suwanee.com | 770-904-3387

“Social Media Strategy”

Randa Simpson Hovator is the Media Relations Manager at Visit Florence. Prior to working with the Florence/

Lauderdale Tourism Bureau, Randa was the Relational Marketing Specialist and Graphic Designer for a web design firm in Birmingham.

randa@visitflorenceal.com | 256-740-4141‬

“Team Building & Leadership”

Dr. Bruce Pieper is a leadership speaker, trainer, and consultant with Emerge2Lead. For over two decades, he has provided customized teaching, training and coaching for those in government, education, churches, nonprofits, and business & industry. Find out more at Emerge2Lead.com

Bruce@Emerge2Lead | 256-690-7309

SPEAKERS 2018 Rural Tourism Conference


2018 Rural Tourism Conference SPEAKERS

“Main Street: Where We Were, Where We’re Going”

Kay Moore is the director of Downtown Gadsden Inc., a nonprofit community partnership dedicated to fostering the economic development of Downtown Gadsden through a comprehensive process of revitalization that seeks to protect, enhance and promote its architecture and historical heritage. Find out more at downtowngadsden.com

kay@downtowngadsden.com | 256-547-8696

Kay Moore

Brian Blank

“Are Your Communications Half Closed or Half Open?”

Brian Blank, is the Director of Marketing at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Prior to that he served as the member and marketing director for the American Sport Fishing Association. Brian has a vast amount of experience in social networking, community based marketing, customer tracking, product evaluation, and customer recruitment and retention.

purepremium007@gmail.com | 301-606-6679

Tuesday Night Caterer Spotlight

Beautiful Rainbow Catering Company

is a garden-to-table education program for adolescents and young adults with significant cognitive disabilities in the Gadsden City Schools. The program operates a cafe open to the public in the Gadsden Public Library and an organic garden growing vegetables year-round. The students learn academic and transition skills through instruction in the cafe and garden.

Like us on Facebook @beautifulrainbowcatering Follow us on Instagram @beautiful_rainbo


Tami Brooks

Becky Berta

Jules J. Berta Vineyards

Becky Berta is the owner of the award-winning Jules J.

Berta Vineyards and the Tomato Tomato Pizza Club. She is the label designer, accountant, marketing director, website designer, and winemaker and is actively involved in promoting the North Alabama Wine Trail.

bertavineyards@hotmail.com | 256-891-5115

“Hit The Trail, The North Alabama Wine Trail”

Tami Brooks is the owner of Brooks Consulting LLC and Social Focus Marketing Solutions. She writes about travel and destinations for several print publications and publishes the travel blog, Tami’s Trippin’. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram or visit Tamis-Trippin.com tamaraebrooks@gmail.com | 256-557-9436

Janie Coppey

Scott Lee

Maraella Winery

Established in 2005 by the Lee Family. Maraella Estate Farm Vineyard & Winery is the realization of the dream of a family wine business. We promise the embracement of the principle to make fine wines. Wines of distinction that represent the finest varietals.

scott.lee@lst.com | 256-494-1000

Wills Creek Vineyards & Winery

Janie Coppey is the co-owner of Wills Creek Vineyards and Winery in Duck Springs, Alabama. Janie grew up in Duck Springs on a dairy farm that is now the site of the winery. Since 2001, she and her husband, Jahn, who grew up working vineyards in the Rhône valley of Switzerland, have been making varieties of muscadine wine, fruit wines, vinifera wines and other specialties.

jrcoppey@aol.com | 256-538-5452

SPEAKERS 2018 Rural Tourism Conference


Walnut St


tS ht5 S

tS 6th St

S 7th St N 7th St

Locust St N 2nd Stt

Broad St

tS ts1 N

Albert Rains Bl

Henry St N 5th St tS ht4 N vd

tS truoC

Broad St

Chestnut St


tS ht4 S

tS ht5 S

S 6th St

N 3rd St tS ts1 S

tS ht4 S tS dr3 S tS dn2 S

Chestnut St

Short St


Riverside Dr 278



Locust St

Broad St

tS dr3 S tS dn2 S

Albert Rains Bl


Meighan Blvd Meighan Blvd

Bay St Walnut St Chestnut St

Walnut St

tS ht6 N


504 200

531529525 519



546-A 532





Map not

to scale Back Forty Beer Co. (200) 200 N 6th Street • Gadsden ( 256-467-4912

Beautiful Rainbow Café 254 College St • Gadsden ( 256-549-4699

Blackstone’s Pub & Eatery (525) 525 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-543-7473

Blu. Chop House (538) 538 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-438-5588 Café 5 (501)

501 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-547-1066 Chestnut Station 410 Chestnut Street • Gadsden ( 256-546-4229

The Choice (531) 531 Broad St • Gadsden ( 256-546-9055

Coffee Bar (532) 532 Broad St. • Gadsden ( 256-459-5000

Frios Gourmet Pops (546-A) 546A Broad St • Gadsden ( 256-459-4946

Gadsden Variety & Deli (422) 422 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-547-8871

Gridiron Bar & Grill 201 South 3rd Street • Gadsden ( 256-546-7305

Harp & Clover (124) 124 Court Street • Gadsden ( 256-467-4824

Jefferson’s (529) 529 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-546-4112 Mater’s Pizza (329) 329 Locust Street • Gadsden ( 256-547-2556

Mu-Dear’s Kitchen 906 Forrest Ave • Gadsden ( 256-467-4037

Old Havana Cigar Co. (438) 438 Chestnut Street • Gadsden ( 256-444-7291

Rock-N-Roll Sushi (504) 504 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-467-3225

Sugar Moon (210) 210 Locust St • Gadsden ( 256-444-8020 The Still

221 S 3rd Street • Gadsden ( 256-312-8764

Tre Ragazzi’s Italian Café (519) 519 Broad Street • Gadsden ( 256-543-2726 (Map courtesy Downtown Gadsden Incorporated)

Downtown Gadsden Dining




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