HSMAI Top 25 Profile: Nick Breedlove

HSMAI honored the2023 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization and Distribution— recognizing leaders from hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their accomplishments. Nick Breedlove Executive Director, Jackson County NC Tourism Development Authority, is one of these honorees.  

Nick Breedlove, a distinguished leader in tourism, has significantly impacted the industry with his innovative strategies and expertise. Once the youngest elected Mayor in North Carolina, he later became the Executive Director of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority in 2015. Under his leadership, the destination thrived, generating nearly $500 million annually in visitor spending. He has been honored with the ‘Tourism Office of the Year’ award by the Southeast Tourism Society and a national ‘Rising Star’ award in Tourism Research.  

Nick holds multiple certifications, including Travel Marketing Professional and Certified Destination Management Executive. He is also a certified expert in Crisis Management, Communications, and Recovery Strategy for DMOs. His commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in his achievement as the first graduate to receive the Certified Diversity Travel Professional credential from Travel Unity. 

An influential thought leader, Nick is an alumnus of the N.C. Rural Center’s Economic Development Institute and serves on several boards, including the Blue Ridge Parkway Association and Western Carolina University’s Hospitality and Tourism program.  

WHAT INSPIRED THIS NOMINATION? “Nick’s innovative strategies and expertise have significantly impacted the tourism industry, making him a distinguished leader in the field.”  


What advice would you give to your younger self? 

 I would advise my younger self to embrace change and the unexpected, both in my personal and professional life. Recent years have underscored the importance of adaptability; resilience is rooted in accepting that change is not just inevitable, but also an opportunity for growth. It’s crucial to build a network of individuals who complement your strengths and weaknesses, forming an environment where everyone grows stronger together. Lastly – never stop learning!  

What keeps you inspired?  

The peers I have in the industry are a constant source of inspiration. Every day, I am astounded by the creativity and ingenuity of my colleagues, as well as their eagerness to assist and share knowledge collaboratively. 

Nominations will open in mid July for the 2024 HSMAI Top 25! 

Full Report of the Top 25

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles