The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce recently recognized three outstanding women for their respective roles within our community. Our Women in Business celebration looked a little different this year, as most things have. However, we wanted to move forward and celebrate the successes of impactful women, who are making a difference and inspiring others to do the same. Those deserving women are; Mrs. Jennifer List, Woman in Community Leadership; Mrs. Amy Justice, Woman in Management, and Mrs. Nanda Patel, Woman Owned Business.

We want you to hear what others are saying about our deserving recipients, and get to know them a little better. This week we will recognize our Woman Owned Business recipient, Nanda Patel.

You don’t have to be from Fort Payne to appreciate Fort Payne, and all we have to offer. Nanda Patel, our 2020 Woman Owned Business recipient may not be from here, but she spends many days here at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, where she has been the manager and owner since 2003. Nanda is always thinking ahead of ways to keep her customers coming back and spending money in DeKalb County.

“When people arrive, we are their welcoming committee. The first impression travelers have of our area. Nanda ensures the staff is knowledgeable of our area and ready with maps and suggestions of places to visit,” said Julie Mewes, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express and Suites.

Nanda served as president and board member with DeKalb County’s tourism organization at a time when that group underwent transformation.

“Nanda Patel owns and operates two very successful and super clean Holiday Inn Express and Suites. In addition, she is an avid supporter of the tourism industry statewide. She is active in tourism organizations and is especially passionate about promoting tourism in DeKalb and Etowah counties,” said John Dersham, President/CEO, DeKalb County Tourism Association.

Many may not realize the economic impact a hotel such as Holiday Inn Express and Suites will have on communities as a result of lodging tax. The importance of keeping hotels updated with all the amenities that we all are accustomed to can be a feat.

“Nanda is constantly planning the next improvement. Keeping the hotel fresh and up to date is key,” said Mewes.

“She is very business minded, Nanda sees the entire picture and works hard to make sure not only her Holiday Inn Express and Suites is successful, but the community reaps the benefits,” said Jennifer McCurdy, Executive Director, Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce.

“With a love for hospitality, she thinks of the hotel as an extension of the City of Fort Payne and DeKalb County,” said Julie Mewes, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express and Suites.

We can’t think of a more deserving candidate for our Woman Owned Business. Thank you, Nanda, for all you do. Which, by the way, you can learn more about all the many outreach programs Nanda has initiated as a response to disasters all across Alabama in the DeKalb Living magazine. You may purchase a DeKalb Living at the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce (300 Gault Ave. N, Fort Payne).