Richard Taylor is the Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission and the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission, and currently operates a convention center, a performing arts theater, two museums, a visitors center and a zoo. He began his 25-year career in the tourism industry with a five-year stint in the British, Dutch and French West Indies before coming to Hattiesburg. His experience is in tourism marketing, public facility management and attraction development. A strong believer that unique and compelling experiences create customers for life, Richard provides insight into this concept through the coursework of TM358. He is an advocate for students to begin now to incorporate quality and creativity into their scholastic efforts, as well as future employment, thus accelerating their success. Richard provides the exposure and opportunity for students to put this principle into action throughout the food and beverage management class.
Richard is a recipient of the 2009 USM’s Margaret McCarty Award for Tourism Partner of the Year, the 1996 winner of the international Edward L. Bernays Tourism Public Relations Award, and an inductee in the Mississippi Tourism Hall of Fame. He currently serves at Vice-President of the Mississippi Tourism Association and sits on the Advisory Board of USM’s Department of Casino, Hotel and Tourism Management. Richard received his B.A. in Humanities from Ambassador University in Los Angeles and his M.S. in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi.