Nancy Carpenter, executive director for the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau, was named Mississippi's Business Woman of the Year for 2017 on Thursday by the Mississippi Business Journal.
Carpenter emerged from a field of 10 finalists to claim the award during an event at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson.
"It was an overwhelming, humbling honor," Carpenter said. "There are so many outstanding and more-than-qualified women throughout the state. I was happy just to have been in the Top 50, so when it was announced that I had won, I was really surprised. It's a great honor, not just for me but for Lowndes County and the city of Columbus, everyone who has worked so hard to make Columbus what it is today."
Carpenter, who came to the CVB in 2008 after more than 30 years in the banking industry, became the organization's CEO and executive director 2011 and has worked with both city and county officials on a number of projects.
"Really, when I look back, I was project manager for the restoration of the Tennessee Williams home in 2008 and that was a great experience," she said. "Over the years, the work I've been involved with in (enhancing) the entrance to the city is something that I'm very proud to have been a part of. From the Riverwalk, the soccer complex, the Tennessee Williams home, Catfish Alley and the new project for the children's museum (to be located at the Old Elks Lodge on Main Street), it's just amazing. I'm just a part of that -- we've have so many partners in the county and city."
In addition to her role with the CVB, Carpenter serves on the executive boards of the Mississippi Tourism Association and Mississippi Department of Archives and History. In 2011, she was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve on the Civil Rights Museum Commission. That museum, which will be the first state-funded civil rights museum in the nation, is expected to open in December.
The R. E. Hunt Museum & Cultural Center is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2011 and supported by alumni, voluteers and friends. R. E. Hunt opened its…
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