Visit Jackson named our 31st annual Hometown Hero and S.U.M.I.T.T. award recipients in a presentation at The Capri Theatre on March 7, 2024.

The event was established to reflect the industry’s deep appreciation for long-time commitment, accomplishments, and service by individuals and entities that have enhanced the Jackson visitor experience and elevated the travel and tourism industry.

Festival & Event Organizers

Stephen Brown, Briarwood Arts Center and the MS Museum of Art
Ryan Parker, Mississippi Film Society
Sirena Wilson, Capitol Police Department
Brad Franklin, JXN Indie Music Week
Eric Collins, First Friday on Farish

Meeting & Group Tour Planners

Walter Hull, Southeastern Rodeo Association
Dr. Alyssa Killebrew, Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo
Shonda De Verteuil, Mississippi Association of Housing Officers
Willie Demus, Black Softball Circuit
Tim Bennett, Hank Aaron Sports Academy

Travel & Tourism Industry Employees

Susan Garrard, Mississippi Children's Museum
Marcus Spann, Johnny T's Bistro & Blues
Corey Wright, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

2024 S.U.M.I.T.T. Awards

Attraction of the Year, Margaret Walker Center
Festival or Event of the Year, Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival
Friend of Tourism, Coach Tomekia Reed - JSU Women's Basketball
Full-Service Hotel of the Year, The Westin Jackson
Limited-Service Hotel of the Year, Homewood Suites by Hilton Jackson - Fondren Medical District
Restaurant of the Year, Johnny T's Bistro & Blues

Shining Example Awards

International Ballet Competition, Mona Nicholas, Executive Director USA IBC
Harvey Johnson, Jr., Former Mayor, City of Jackson

Visionary Award

J. Kane Ditto, Esq., Former Mayor, City of Jackson

Special thanks to this year's host location, The Capri Theatre in Fondren!