South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Awards Miriam Atria State’s Top Honor

February 16, 2023

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Photo Credit: SCPRT (from left to right) Buddy Jennings, Miriam Atria, Gov. McMcaster, and Duane Parrish

This week at the South Carolina Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Travel, SC’s Governor Henry McMaster; South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (SCPRT) Director, Duane Parrish; and President of Impact Consulting, Buddy Jennings (former Director of SCPRT) presented the Fred Brinkman Award to Miriam Atria, President/CEO of Capital City Lake Murray Country (CCLMC).

“Through her efforts, Lake Murray, the Jewel of South Carolina has hosted numerous fishing tournaments each bringing in tens of millions of dollars to our state’s tourism economy. The fishing tournaments she’s recruited include various FLW Trail Events, the FLW Forrest Wood Cup – which CCLMC has hosted an unprecedented 3 times at Lake Murray, and the Black Bass World Championship – which hosted professional anglers from 25 countries across the world. It’s truly made the midlands of SC an international destination. With each tournament recruited, Miriam Atria has grown Lake Murray’s reputation as a premier sports fishing venue and as a travel destination for visitors around the world,” said Jennings.

Named after SCPRT’s longest-serving director, the Brinkman Award is presented periodically to an individual who has demonstrated an enduring and outstanding commitment to improving tourism in the state. Past recipients to the Fred Brinkman Award in addition to Mr. Brinkman include Mr. John Curry, Mr. Ashby Ward, Mrs. Helen Hill, Mr. Buddy Jennings, Mrs. Amy Duffy, Mr. Marion Edmonds, Mr. Brad Dean, Mayor Knox White, and Mr. Phil Gaines.

“It’s a great day in South Carolina and Capital City/Lake Murray Country, the Jewel of South Carolina”, remarked Atria during her acceptance speech. “I started off with a budget of $40,000 and was the first employee – to hold in my hands something named after Fred Brinkman – It’s quite an honor,” said Atria.

Over her 40-year career, Miriam Atria has worked tirelessly to help the Lake Murray Country region reach its full tourism potential by “never taking no for an answer.” Through her incredible network of contacts, budget efficiency, and leadership, Miriam has been able to secure numerous world events. In the fishing arena alone, CCLMC has invested $2,027,000 and has generated an overall economic impact of over $185,480,380. From the Black Bass World Championship ($21.5 million in economic impact) to launching the Taste of Lake Murray – the region’s signature food event and sole fundraiser for the 4th of July Celebration Fireworks on Lake Murray – and bringing the World Food Championship’s Final Table event to Columbia in 2022. It is no surprise that Forbes Magazine named CCLMC a “Top Southern Destination” in 2021. Through grit, determination, and an undeniable passion, Atria has helped establish Lake Murray Country as the Jewel of South Carolina, attracting visitors and tourism revenues to Lexington, Newberry, Richland, and Saluda counties as well as the City of Columbia and other encompassing municipalities.

About Capital City/Lake Murray Country
CCLMC is the official source for all things Lake Murray Country. Find information on attractions, dining, hotels, outdoor recreation, fishing, golf, and events to plan your next trip. Explore The Top Southern Destinations of Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, and Saluda. For more information about CCLMC visit LakeMurrayCountry.com or call 803-781-5940 | 1-866-SC-Jewel.