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Perry attends STS Marketing College with The Kentucky Wildlands scholarship

SOMERSET – The Kentucky Wildlands awarded four scholarships to tourism industry professionals to attend this week’s Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College in Macon, Ga.
Michelle Perry, Director of the McCreary County Tourist Commission, earned one of the scholarships. Perry has been with the tourist commission for three years.
Scholarships also were awarded to Frank Crabtree, Executive Director of the Burnside Tourism and Recreation Commission; Katie Shea, Information Specialist/Social Media Coordinator for the Somerset-Pulaski County Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Chris Robinson, Executive Director of the City of London Tourism.
The Kentucky Wildlands scholarship program covers each recipient’s cost of attending the STS Marketing College – a value of $1,425 per scholarship. Scholarship recipients are paying their own lodging and travel costs.
“I am so pleased to congratulate our scholarship recipients, and I want to thank everyone who applied for a scholarship,” said Tammie Nazario, who directs The Kentucky Wildlands, a regional marketing program by Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc.
“These professionals already are leaders in their community, and I commend their commitment to continuing education as a way to be even more effective,” Nazario said. “They are experts in what their communities have to offer. Marketing College will help them showcase those local tourism assets through current industry trends and tools. The goal is to bring out the best in their community, making it more enjoyable for residents, more attractive to tourists and stronger economically.”
“With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting travel and hospitality businesses, tourism is important for our economic recovery more now than ever,” Perry said. “McCreary County is a small rural community that relies on tourism revenue for growth. With an abundance of natural arches, waterfalls and recreational activities, our area offers a beautiful playground for any outdoor enthusiast. Along with our history and the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, McCreary County also offers the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork River and Recreation Area. Each asset of McCreary County depends on tourism to generate income, which allows for more jobs and opportunities for our community.”
At Marketing College, Perry’s priorities will be learning strategies to better market McCreary County, as well as how to enhance operations and events for visitors.

The STS Marketing College is a continuing education program for the travel and tourism industry in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. For one week, students participate in a curriculum designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry. Instructors are industry-related professionals from across the United States, noted as experts in their field, who bring a working-knowledge of current trends, data and implementation for tourism and travel. Students who complete the curriculum over three years will receive a Travel Marketing Professional certification.
For more details about the STS Marketing College, visit
For more information about The Kentucky Wildlands, visit
The Kentucky Wildlands is a regional tourism marketing initiative in 41 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. It showcases the region’s majestic beauty and rich heritage with the goal of driving economic development. Components of the initiative will include a media campaign, hospitality education, itinerary development and entrepreneur training. The initiative was launched by Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc., which is a nonprofit organization, with grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development Administration.

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