Mary Hammond, Executive Director, Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau was recognized with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce Summit Award for “literally putting our community on an international map.”

The Summit Award is one that is not presented every year but is reserved as a special presentation. The award was presented at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Celebration held at the Julian Carroll Convention Center on January 26 with approximately 750 attendees.

The award presentation stated that through her vision, determination and a lot of hard work, Paducah has been the destination for travelers from throughout the world. More than 30 years ago Mary started selling Paducah and has never stopped.

In 2011, she traveled to Seoul, South Korea to present our community’s first application to be a member of the UNESCO Creative Cites Network. Two years later Paducah was awarded this highly coveted designation. In 2017, she led the team that hosted the first UNESCO Creative Cities meeting in the United States when the Creative Cities of Crafts and Folk Art met in Paducah. Over the past decades she has been a leader in the world of tourism. Mary was appointed by former Secretary of State John Kerry to serve on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Under her leadership, tourism has continued to grow in McCracken County with direct tourism expenditures totaling almost $227 million with an economic impact of more than $356 million in 2016.