Tami Reist of Alabama Mountain Lakes honored with ATHENA Leadership Award at Women in Business Celebration
Tami Reist, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, was honored today with the ATHENA Leadership Award at the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Women in Business Celebration at Doubletree by Hilton Decatur Riverfront.
Named for the Greek goddess of wisdom, as well as the champion of justice and law, the ATHENA award is presented across the world by chambers of commerce, women's organizations and universities. It is an international program and is promoted by local organizations.
“You will not find a more generous heart and community servant than Tami, and her willingness to put others before herself makes her an incredible leader among her peers,” said Trudy Grisham, a member of the nominating committee and past ATHENA recipient. “She always seeks opportunities to partner with others, living by the Helen Keller quote ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ Her mentorship of others and her deep dedication to our tourism industry has made a generational impact on our state.”
As president and CEO of Alabama Mountain Lakes, Reist is responsible for the planning, implementing, directing, and evaluating all promotional programs as well as overall development of the tourism and travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the State of Alabama. The region currently generates more than $2.5 billion in travel expenditures on an annual basis. Her responsibilities also include strengthening and expanding the membership base of AMLA, a not-for-profit organization that is supported by 500-plus members consisting of Chambers of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions, and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, and Winston. Under her leadership, Alabama Mountain Lakes received the 2015 Chairman of the Board Award from the Southeast Tourism Society, and in 2016, Reist was presented the Alabama Tourism Partnership Award of Excellence.
Reist is a board member for a number of tourism and travel-related and civic organizations including: governor appointee to the Scenic Byways Committee, Alabama Tourism Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission, Southeast Tourism Society Legislative Council, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Alabama Travel Council, Alabama Council of Association Executives, Alabama Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, and numerous other local and state travel-related groups. She is also an instructor at the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College in Dahlonega, Ga., and is a past contributing presenter to the tourism and travel field of study at Mississippi State University in Starkville Among her many recognitions are the Alabama Travel Council Partnership Award, the Southeast Tourism Society Dorothy Hardman Spirit Award, and This is Alabama and Birmingham magazine’s 2018 “Women Who Shape the State” honoree.
Before leading Alabama Mountain Lakes, Reist has served as the president and CEO of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Under her management at the CVB, her team received the “Shining Example” award from the Southeast Tourism Society in 2009 and the 2008 “Tourism Organization of the Year” award from the Alabama Tourism Department. She was also previously the project manager and general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott - Decatur, Ala.; regional manager for the Hampton Inn and Country Inn & Suites by Carlson - Decatur and Florence, Ala.; and as general manager and project coordinator of the Amberley Suite Hotel - Decatur, Ala.
Reist and her husband, Glenn, have four adult children and live in Moulton, Ala.