Landry Payne, left, and Katie James have been selected to serve as Neshoba County’s Miss Hospitality and Little Miss Hospitality for 2020. Payne will compete in the state program in July.
Landry Payne, left, and Katie James have been selected to serve as Neshoba County’s Miss Hospitality and Little Miss Hospitality for 2020. Payne will compete in the state program in July.

You can expect to see Landry Payne and Katie James at numerous public events for the next year.

They have been selected to serve as Neshoba County’s Miss Hospitality and Little Miss Hospitality, respectively. And both will be at ribbon-cuttings and different events and gatherings as goodwill ambassadors for the community.





Payne is finishing up her sophomore year at East Mississippi Community College’s Scooba campus. She is majoring in nursing and plans to become a family nurse practitioner one day. James is a first grader at Neshoba Central Elementary School.

Established in 1949, the Mississippi Hospitality Competition is more than 70 years old. Over the years, the program has supported the state’s tourism and economic development  sectors while providing Mississippi’s best and brightest young women with scholarship opportunities.

As Miss Hospitality, local contestants serve a full year as their community’s spokesman, promoting visitation and the promotion of their community,

“I was excited to be named Miss Hospitality,” Payne said. “ I have always loved the idea of representing Neshoba County and being able to do that with my hometown. It is absolutely thrilling.”

A 2018 graduate of Neshoba Central, Payne was Neshoba County’s Distinguished Woman in 2018. She will be competing in the 71st annual state Miss Hospitality competition  in Hattiesburg July 17-18.



“Some of the girls I did the Distinguished Young Woman program with have gone through the Miss Hospitality program,” Payne said. “I have heard a little bit from them and I am looking forward to it.

Payne is the daughter of Paul and Cindy Payne. She is looking at several different nursing schools.

“Right now, my top choice is Southern Miss,” Payne said. “I am waiting to hear back from them. But yes, I will be in nursing school in the fall.”

Katie James, meanwhile, thinks it “is pretty cool” to be Little Miss Hospitality. She is the daughter of Sara and Kyle James.