Statewide award for Strickland

Published 8:18 pm Friday, September 30, 2016

A boon for the city of Vicksburg, tourism affects the lives of many citizens, whether that be those who work for a hotel, those who work in the Vicksburg National Military Park or those — like Laura Beth Strickland — whose job is promoting tourism.

For her work on both the local and state levels, Strickland, communications manager at the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, received the Member of the Year Award from the Mississippi Tourism Association at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held in Natchez last week.

“It’s great to be recognized for your work; it’s another thing to be recognized by people who you respect and who you have worked with throughout the years,” said Strickland, who chaired last year’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which was held in Vicksburg.

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Previous winners of the award have been more senior players in her field, she said, making the recognition all the more memorable.

“To be young and to be honored is special,” she said. “We all worked really hard last year. So I felt like me winning the award was like all of (those she works with) winning the award.”

Strickland, who has worked at the VCVB almost seven years, received the award for “her years of service to (MTA) and the tourism industry as a whole,” according to a MTA press release.

Last year’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Vicksburg earned the highest income of any GCT to date, the press release listed as an example of her work with MTA, and in addition to her work on the state level, Strickland manages a variety of communications-related tasks for the VCVB, ranging from coordinating advertising and public relations to working on the redesign of the VCVB’s website.

“The new website will be responsive, meaning instead of being designed for a desktop and reconfigured for a mobile device, it’s designed for a mobile device and then expands to desktop size,” she said.

“The trend is going toward people using their phones. The last website was launched in 2010, so it’s really outlived the usual lifespan of a website.”

Though the website has recently taken a decent chunk of her time, each day is a little different, she said, with special projects popping up often.

“There’s always someone coming into out office with an idea,” she said.