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Perry attends STS Marketing College with The Kentucky Wildlands scholarship

Michelle Perry, Director of the McCreary County Tourist Commission, earned one of four scholarships from The Kentucky Wildlands to attend the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College, which was held June 5-10 in Macon, Ga.

Perry also received a scholarship from The Kentucky Wildlands to attend Marketing College in 2021.  She now has completed two-thirds of the three-year curriculum toward certification as a Travel Marketing Professional.

“Marketing College provides an exciting, collaborative, and encouraging opportunity for professional growth,” Perry said. “My two main takeaways from year two are the importance of collaboration and networking. Collaboration and networking are essential components vital to success.”

“McCreary Tourism’s mission is to drive economic growth through tourism,” she added. “Who better to tell our story than us? We are the ‘boots on the ground.’ So this opportunity and knowledge will assist me in creating better partnerships and marketing strategies to promote our area as a destination.”

All tourism professionals in southern and eastern Kentucky were eligible to apply for The Kentucky Wildlands scholarship program, and four recipients were selected. The scholarship covered each recipient’s cost of attending the STS Marketing College – a value of $1,125 per scholarship. Scholarship recipients paid their own lodging and travel costs.

The other scholarship recipients were Clay Christian, Director of Letcher County Tourism; Chris Robinson, Executive Director of the City of London Tourism; and Katie Shea, Information Specialist/Social Media Coordinator for the Somerset-Pulaski County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I commend our scholarship recipients for pursuing this opportunity to grow their skills and connections so they can better serve their communities,” said Tammie Nazario, who directs The Kentucky Wildlands, a regional marketing program by Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc.

“We understand the importance of empowering our region’s tourism professionals to showcase their local tourism assets. Marketing College introduces participants to industry leaders and resources they may never encounter in their day-to-day job.”

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

Michelle Perry, Director of the McCreary County Tourist Commission, received a scholarship from The Kentucky Wildlands to attend the STS Marketing College.

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