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Ridgeland Tourism welcomes new executive director

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The Ridgeland Tourism Commission has announced the selection of Chris R. Chapman as its new executive director, effective July 2.

Chris Chapman Ridgeland Tourism

Photo: Ridgeland Tourism Commission Chris Chapman

Chapman will replace Mary Beth Wilkerson, who is retiring at the end of June.

Chapman brings with her an abundance of knowledge and expertise in the realm of tourism. She is exceedingly qualified for the position of executive director, having excelled over a 30-year career within the travel and tourism industry of Mississippi while fostering key relationships in state, regional, national and international markets. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Mississippi State University, is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) through the Convention Industry Council,  serves on the Mississippi Tourism Association board and holds a certification in Convention Marketing (CCM) through the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus.

Most recently, she has acted as president of Chapman Meeting Professionals, LLC, which specializes in consulting on all phases of meeting and event planning, as well as meeting market sales development and destination management goals.

“The commission’s board of directors is excited about its selection and anticipates continued success in the facilitation of Visit Ridgeland activities under Mrs. Chapman’s leadership,” said Lan Pickle, Ridgeland Tourism Commission Board president. 

Pickle said Chapman has delivered results-oriented success in sales and marketing, project and team management, meeting and event planning, as well as strategic promotions. Her background and years of service as bureau manager for Visit Mississippi (the state’s tourism office) will be invaluable and instrumental in guiding the staff and program of work of the Ridgeland Tourism Commission.

“Ridgeland has a wealth of opportunity and a dynamic team of tourism professionals at the Tourism Commission to bring visitors to our city into a new age of exciting growth and development,” Chapman said. “My tourism and hospitality experience over the last 30 years has prepared me for the responsibility to serve Ridgeland’s tourism industry. I look forward to working with tourism partners locally and around the country to increase visitation and sustainable growth for our travel industry in Ridgeland.”

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