You’d be hard-pressed to find a better champion of Amarillo than Hope Stokes, director of brand management for the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council. Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle city, she graduated from nearby West Texas A&M University and her first job in the tourism industry was as an intern at the council. Stokes shared with us her love of her hometown.

What is your favorite thing about marketing Amarillo?

My favorite part about marketing Amarillo is that I have the opportunity to share my passion for Amarillo with the world. Amarilloans have this deep connection with our city that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Amarillo is now an oasis on the high plains, but it wasn’t always. Early settlers had to accept that they had little to no control over their environment and formed a partnership with the land. When things got rough, they found comfort in their faith and community, but they never gave up on the land. That camaraderie between the land and the people is the base of our heritage and has translated into a deep respect for our area and community that is ingrained in all Amarilloans. The passion we have for our city is almost palpable, and once people see it, they want to get a taste.

What is your favorite part of your job? 

Hands down it’s simply sharing Amarillo with others. I grew up here, so I know this city like the back of my hand. That gives me the opportunity to showcase Amarillo in a way that fits everyone’s interests. I was guilty of thinking, “There’s nothing to do in Amarillo,” in my younger years, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I live for the opportunity to either change the way people think about Amarillo or introduce them to everything Amarillo has to offer.

What is your favorite event in Amarillo? 

My favorite event in Amarillo is the Good Times Celebration Barbecue Cook-Off. It’s my favorite event because 100 cooking teams provide tons of food, and with a typical attendance of over 6,000, you get to see people from all over Amarillo come together to have drinks and enjoy some of the best barbecue in the city

For Andrea Mokros, Minneapolis-based public relations executive and independent event consultant, the last decade has been a whirlwind. From serving as special assistant to President Obama and director of strategic planning for then-first lady Michelle Obama, to welcoming newcomers to the Bold North as the vice president of communications and events for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, Mokros shares the key takeaways that inspire her work today. 

 

Nickole Kerner Bobley describes her childhood in The Woodlands as charmed. Summer days were spent exploring the community just north of Houston. One of her favorite activities was watching the installation of The Woodlands’ iconic public art. She and her friends would sit in awe, perched on their bikes, as the giant cranes carefully positioned the sculptures in place. It had a lasting impact on her. “I attribute my adult love of art to where I lived,” she notes.

 

According to the city's chamber of commerce, Amarillo – which is Spanish for "yellow" – earned its name from the color of the subsoil of Amarillo Creek and the flowers of the area's yucca plants. The Texas Panhandle city is at the crossroads of the desert and southern plains, as well as a tenacious ranching lifestyle and a creative urban vibe. Here, you'll find the wild beauty of the Palo Duro Canyon and the quirky artistry of Cadillac Ranch.