Donna Miller, Guest Relations Manager of the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Joplin), received the Tracy Kimberlin Hospitality Award during the annual Missouri Governor’s Conference on Tourism held on October 4–6, 2023, in Cape Girardeau.
The award is presented to an individual, business, or organization that supports and promotes Missouri tourism in any and all ways available to them. This can include involvement in the Division of Tourism projects, publicity for Missouri attractions and events, or making extra effort to ensure travelers enjoy their time in the state.
Ms. Miller greets guests visiting the Visitor Center within the Joplin City Hall. Her knowledge of the area’s attractions and understanding of traveler expectations helps her connect with guests, often resulting in extended stays so visitors can experience more of what Joplin offers.
A true ambassador of Route 66 — all of the Route.
Donna Miller manages guest relations for the Visit Joplin Visitors Center. She is highly knowledgeable of the attractions in the Joplin Tri-state region, keenly aware of traveler expectations, and routinely puts these two together with positive results.
According to Patrick Tuttle, director of Visit Joplin, “Donna’s enthusiasm and sincere interest in our guests repeatedly turn what would have been a pass-thru visit (to Joplin) into a more extended stay or even an overnight experience. She is a true tourism ambassador for Joplin, Route 66, and the state of Missouri. In our Center, we constantly hear the excitement as she greets foreign and domestic guests, and within a few minutes, they’ve become new best friends.”
Other tourism award winners include:
- Hall of Fame: Lynn Berry, director of communications for Explore Branson
- Marketing Campaign Award: Explore Branson
- Pathfinder Award: Elizabeth Phelps, assistant director for Discover Saint Charles
- Navigator Media Award: Zdeněk Jurásek, Radio 66 host
- Rising Star Award: Ashlie Beede, director of marketing for Explore Branson
- Tracy Kimberlin Hospitality Award: Donna Miller, Visit Joplin
- Tracy Kimberlin Hospitality Award: Lambert’s Café, Sikeston
- Film Industry Champion Award: Jessica Pabst
- Sen. Emory Melton Legislative Award: Cody Smith, Missouri Representative for District 163
In addition to the awards presentation, the conference — hosted by the Missouri Division of Tourism — features educational workshops and guest speakers who address various topics related to the tourism industry.
Patrick Tuttle, Director
Visit Joplin MO