Rural Tourism Conference Program


Made for Etowah County Tourism





October 22 – 24



Hosted by:

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

2018 Alabama • Mississippi • Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference

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 • •

SPEAKERS 2018 Rural Tourism Conference

“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

Neville Bhada | 770-693-2988

“Events: Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers”

Amy Doherty

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. | 770-904-3387

“Team Building & Leadership”

Dr. Bruce Pieper

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

Bruce@Emerge2Lead | 256-690-7309

“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 Simpson

Hovator | 256-740-4141‬

2018 Alabama • Mississippi • Tennessee 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

Kay Moore | 256-547-8696

“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.

Brian Blank | 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 • •

SPEAKERS 2018 Rural Tourism Conference

“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

Tami Brooks | 256-557-9436

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.

Becky Berta | 256-891-5115

Wills Creek Vineyards & Winery

Janie Coppey

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. | 256-538-5452

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 | 256-494-1000

2018 Alabama • Mississippi • Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference

N 6thSt






N 4thSt













N 1st

Meighan Blvd


Meighan Blvd




Henry St

N 5th St

Locust St


N 3rd St

Locust St

N 2nd St

N 7th St




531 529 525 519


Broad St

546-A 538 532


Broad St

Broad St

Chestnut St

Chestnut St

Chestnut St

S 7th St

S 6th St


Short St

Downtown Gadsden Dining

Walnut St

Walnut St

Walnut St

S 6th St

Map not

to scale

200 N 6th Street • Gadsden

( 256-467-4912

Back Forty Beer Co. (200)

Coffee Bar (532)

532 Broad St. • Gadsden

( 256-459-5000

Bay St

Mu-Dear’s Kitchen

906 Forrest Ave • Gadsden

( 256-467-4037

Riverside Dr

Beautiful Rainbow Café

254 College St • Gadsden

( 256-549-4699

Frios Gourmet Pops (546-A)

546A Broad St • Gadsden

( 256-459-4946

Old Havana Cigar Co. (438)

438 Chestnut Street • Gadsden

( 256-444-7291

Blackstone’s Pub & Eatery (525)

525 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-543-7473

Gadsden Variety & Deli (422)

422 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-547-8871

Rock-N-Roll Sushi (504)

504 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-467-3225

Blu. Chop House (538)

538 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-438-5588

Gridiron Bar & Grill

201 South 3rd Street • Gadsden

( 256-546-7305

Sugar Moon (210)

210 Locust St • Gadsden

( 256-444-8020

Café 5 (501)

501 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-547-1066

Harp & Clover (124)

124 Court Street • Gadsden

( 256-467-4824

The Still

221 S 3rd Street • Gadsden

( 256-312-8764

Chestnut Station

410 Chestnut Street • Gadsden

( 256-546-4229

Jefferson’s (529)

529 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-546-4112

Tre Ragazzi’s Italian Café (519)

519 Broad Street • Gadsden

( 256-543-2726

The Choice (531)

531 Broad St • Gadsden

( 256-546-9055

Mater’s Pizza (329)

329 Locust Street • Gadsden

( 256-547-2556

(Map courtesy Downtown

Gadsden Incorporated) • •


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