Public/Media Relations Manager

COASTAL MISSISSIPPI (January 7, 2022) – Coastal Mississippi is pleased to announce the appointments of Kris Abbott to the position of Director of Sales and Patricia Meagher to the position of Director of Communications and Engagement for the State’s coastal tri-county destination marketing organization.

This announcement follows the November 2021 announcement that Coastal Mississippi would be reinstating the Director of Sales position in anticipation of a strong 2022 in the meetings and conventions sector. Growth in that sector would build on the destination’s momentum of record leisure visitation in late 2020 and throughout 2021.

Abbott brings over 20 years of experience in sales and account development, building and cultivating productive client relationships, and forming strong internal and external partnerships with worldwide markets as a top producer. In her role as Director of Sales, Abbott will manage and lead the convention sales, sports sales, and group services department, and will be responsible for identifying market opportunities and developing long and short-term marketing and sales strategies. With a proven record of achieving and exceeding ambitious goals and having been awarded Hilton Worldwide’s Excellence in Individual Sales – Group in 2015, Abbott most recently served as Senior Sales Manager at Hilton Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center for seven years. Abbott will begin her role as Coastal Mississippi’s Director of Sales on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

“I am very excited to be joining the talented team at Coastal Mississippi and building on the momentum that the region has been gaining as a first-class destination for events, meetings, and conventions,” said Abbott. “This is a pivotal time for the industry, and I look forward to working together to ensure a bright and successful future.”

Meagher brings over 20 years of communications experience at the senior advisor and director level for foundations, institutions, and elected officials. In her role as Director of Communications and Engagement, Meagher will direct and manage the Public Relations and Communications efforts and initiatives for Coastal Mississippi by developing effective external communication strategies, building brand recognition and awareness with new and existing audiences, and engaging with key stakeholders. For the past eight years, she served as Director of Communications for the Georgia Historical Society where she led the marketing and communications efforts for the annual Georgia History Festival, the Trustees Gala, and the Georgia historical marker program that serves as an economic engine of heritage tourism for cities and communities statewide. Meagher will begin her role as Coastal Mississippi’s Director of Communications and Engagement on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

“Some of my earliest memories as a child are visiting the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast with my family,” said Meagher. “Whether dining on the freshest gulf seafood, exploring the islands and waterways, or learning about the rich history and diversity of the people and cultures that made the Gulf Coast what it is today, it has always held a special place in my heart. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to return to my home state and to work with the Board of Commissioners and the incredible team of tourism professionals at Coastal Mississippi to showcase the beauty, culture, and hospitality of the region."

“Kris and Patricia bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Coastal Mississippi team, and we are excited to ring in the new year with the addition of such accomplished industry experts at the helm of our sales and communications departments,” said Coastal Mississippi Board President, Brooke Shoultz. “Their passion for this industry, extensive experience and accolades, and dedication to showcasing the region as a destination will be invaluable to the continued success of Coastal Mississippi.”

Coastal Mississippi is an organization charged with promoting South Mississippi as a tourism and convention destination worldwide. Its mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure, convention, sports and business visitors to the area. It is dedicated to maximizing the travel and tourism industry for South Mississippi.
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