By Robbie Ward
TUPELO – Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton shies away from taking credit for success during his first recruiting trip.
Learning recently that Tupelo won the bid to host a national softball convention in a year, Shelton said he doesn’t think his comments to softball organizers in Charlotte, N.C., were the deciding factor.
Shelton and Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Neal McCoy attended the Independent Softball Association and Senior Softball USA National Convention last week to recruit the organization to host its 2014 five-day meeting here.
The event will bring state, regional and national softball directors to the city, along with equipment suppliers and city personnel interested in hosting ISA and SSUSA softball events.
“It’s always nice to be successful the first time you attempt something,” Shelton said Tuesday. “But I can’t take any credit for it. Everybody at the CVB did all of the work for it.”
CVB staff spent days prior to the conference learning details and logistics necessary to hold a successful event in Tupelo, along with finding the best way to convince the group city was the best fit.
However, McCoy said the mayor’s presence in North Carolina shouldn’t be discounted. He said Shelton helped show Tupelo’s interest to host the softball group.
Don Stratton, CEO of ISA, seemed to agree.
“The enthusiasm and true commitment of Tupelo made us feel that you really wanted us,” he said. “We are looking forward to your hospitality and experiencing Tupelo.”
Back in Tupelo, McCoy said his organization will continue preparing for the convention. Shelton said he’s confident they’ll enjoy the experience.
“We encountered several Elvis fans there,” Shelton said.