If you are talking about Huntsville, it’s hard not to mention Judy Ryals. The CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau is truly all things Huntsville.
And Monday her hard work in promoting the Rocket City was recognized at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Fairhope with a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Gov. Kay Ivey.
Judy Ryals Lifetime Achievement Award
The Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism gives out the Lifetime Achievement Award annually (last year’s winner was Mobile Film Office director Eva Golson) and this year’s winner — fittingly — was Ryals.
Judy Ryals joined the Bureau in 1978 and is the longest serving director of a tourism agency in Alabama. She has been appointed by six governors to serve on the Advisory Board of the Alabama Tourism Department and currently serves as Chairman.
She was one of the first females to serve as a board member of the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, which is now Destination Marketing Association International.
She has served on the Board of Directors of many statewide boards including the Alabama Council of Association Executives, Alabama Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus and Alabama Travel Council.
She received the state’s top award and was inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame, the first CVB representative to receive this award.
She is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she received a degree in public relations in 1976.
An award for Judy Ryals is an award for Huntsville
Ryals’ award Monday comes after a bevy of accolades showered upon the Rocket City in the last couple of years.
Other accolades include:
- NEW: Times-Tribune names Madison County #1 place to live in Alabama
- Wall Street Journal ranks Huntsville #15 for strong economy with affordable housing
- Huntsville Botanical Garden named 6th best in the nation
- Orion Amphitheater receives widespread accolades
- World Atlas names Huntsville on the region’s most charming cities