Patti A. Culp received NTA’s James D. Santini Award for legislative advocacy on behalf of the tourism industry, the NTA reports. Culp has served for 35 years as the executive director of the Alabama Travel Council. In 2012, Culp chaired the Government Relations Committee of NTA.
Culp was honored in Washington D.C during Destination: Capitol Hill, where NTA members gathered to promote travel and tourism legislation to members of Congress.
The NTA was formerly the National Tour Association.
“I believe that state and federal advocacy from a grassroots perspective is imperative to the success of our industry, whether it’s to extend our school year or protect our state tourism department’s budget,” Culp said. “It’s our responsibility to let our voices be heard.”
Culp is the longest-serving senior executive of any state travel organization, said Steve Richer, NTA’s public affairs advocate, who works with Culp on behalf of the association.
“Patti epitomizes a state-level leader who knows how to effectively bring our message to her Congressional delegation,” said Richer. “Every time her Alabama tourism delegation participates with NTA, they find a way to meet with every member of Congress—both House and Senate—from Alabama.”
Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society, also praised Culp. “Patti is an exceptional example of putting grassroots advocacy in action,” he said. “We congratulate Patti on her outstanding recognition as the recipient of this year’s Santini Award and applaud her for her continued contributions to travel and tourism at the state, regional and national level.”
The James D. Santini award recognizes NTA members who have made long-term, significant contributions to the association’s advocacy efforts.
Santini, who was NTA's legislative counsel for 25 years, served four terms in the United States Congress as the only member of the House of Representatives from Nevada. He was a founder and the first secretary/treasurer of the U.S. Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus in the House.