Director of Marketing, Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau Gulfport, Miss. Age: 37
Throughout her career, Nicole Learson has never relinquished her love of learning, teaching and giving back to her community. As director of marketing for Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, she’s able to do all three. “Part of my responsibilities is to educate businesses and the general public about the importance of tourism in our communities and the economy as a whole. My close friends often joke that I would teach everyone if I could,” she says, adding that she equally enjoys being on the receiving end.
Learson has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern University at New Orleans and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. She plans to return to school for a Ph.D. in business. Topping her gratitude list are her grandfathers, who taught her to have self-pride; ever-present mentors who always challenged her to strive higher; and God. “I am proof that when you allow God to guide your life and walk in faith, He will bless you tremendously,” Learson affirms.
Learson balances career, family and volunteer and civic commitments to, for example, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the March of Dimes and the Mississippi Scholars Program. She dreams of exploring West and South Africa with her husband and daughter and owning a vacation home in Brazil. Meanwhile, she will continue, with pride, to boast about the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a premiere vacation and gaming destination.
Quote: "Once you've ascended to the top, do not forget to send the elevator back down." - African proverb
Favorite food: Crawfish etouffee
Who would play you in a movie: Angela Bassett
Facebook or LinkedIn: LinkedIn
Favorite sports team: New Orleans Saints
What artist would you go on tour with: Prince
First car: 1982 Ford Mustang
First job: Cashier at parent’s grocery store
Number of countries visited: Four
Last movie: Monsters vs. Aliens
Other languages: Spanish