Crown Bearer: Mende Malouf Alford
For 25 years, Mende Malouf Alford has not only served as owner and manager of the Old Capitol Inn but as a well-known welcomer to the city of Jackson.
Helping rebuild the historic property from the ground up, Alford has made the Old Capitol Inn a gem in the crown of downtown, regularly hosting celebrities, politicians, and more to stay and savor everything the city has to offer.
"I love what I do, and it's not work if you love it," she said. "I get to meet people from all over, and it's just fun. Every day is different."
The Inn also serves as a destination for weddings, with its beautiful courtyard and a rooftop overlooking the Capitol Building. It's those moments of hosting and being a part of locals' life events where Alford feels the impact of what the hotel means to the Jackson community.
"Every time a bride comes and puts in a request for her reception here, I take it as a huge honor," Alford said. "To have people entrust us with something so special means the world to me and our vision for Old Capitol Inn."
Like many others in Jackson's hospitality industry, Alford wholeheartedly believes in the power of the city's people, their friendliness, and their willingness to lift each other up.
"To me, it's a big small town. It's the family aspect that's always been a huge selling point for me," Alford said. We've got so much to offer that people don't even realize we have. The Two Mississippi Museums are amazing and a stone's throw away, and the capital is just down the street from us. You know, we're all here to work together. And I think that definitely says a lot about hospitality, but more importantly, about who we are as Mississippians."