CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381

Tami Reist Graduates as Fellow of Appalachian Regional Commission’s 
Appalachian Leadership Institute
Reist joins 77 others from across the region in the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network.

Decatur, Ala. (July 22, 2021) – On July 15, 2021, Tami Reist, President/CEO of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA), was one of 38 fellows who graduated from the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a leadership and economic development program sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Members of the Class of 2021, along with their friends and family, attended the ceremony - 24 in-person in Washington, DC, and 14 virtually.
 “We congratulate the 2021 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows. In addition to network-building, the Fellows have been hard at work over the last nine months building skills needed to help their communities thrive,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin.

“The Appalachian Leadership Institute gives local leaders the tools to make their communities stronger and more resilient,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. "Congratulations to the 38 graduating fellows.”

In the nine months leading up to graduation, Reist participated in six virtual sessions over nine months, all of which included skill-building seminars with regional experts, peer-to-peer learning and case study analysis. All aspects of the curriculum were designed to equip fellows with the knowledge and network needed to create positive change in their communities. Reist was one of two fellows representing Alabama in the class.

As AMLA’s president and CEO, Reist is responsible for planning, implementing, directing and evaluating all promotional programs as well as the overall development of the tourism and travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the State of Alabama. The region generates more than $2.5 billion in travel expenditures on an annual basis. 

“The Appalachian Leadership Institute has really opened my eyes to Appalachia and its challenges,” said Reist. “I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from an impressive group of professionals from several states within the Appalachia region and I am eager to put the knowledge and tools that I have gained from this program to make a difference here in North Alabama.” 

As a graduate of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, Reist is now part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network. With each graduating class, the network will continue to grow, connect leaders and facilitate continued learning and idea exchange across the 13 Appalachian states.

About the Appalachian Leadership Institute
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for people who live and/or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive. Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows participate in an extensive training curriculum developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consist of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals.  Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available from the AMLA by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting their web site at