- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Beverly Martin’s first assignment as the executive director of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association is the exact same one she got when she took the job the first time: relocate the office.

That’s also the same task she had when she took over the Casino Operators Association.

“I found that funny,” she said of the three office moves. “It sounds like, ‘Beverly and 2 Guys and a Truck.’”

It’s all familiar territory for Martin, who has worked in the hospitality arena her entire career before taking a break to accompany her husband on his work travels around the Pacific Northwest.

She began her career with the Mississippi Coast Restaurant & Beverage Association, and also previously worked as executive director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association and served as a member of the Harrison County Tourism Commission and the Mississippi GoCoast 20/20 Commission.

“The timing was actually perfect,” she said of accepting the reins of the restaurant association a month ago. What she found on her return was a mix of some familiar faces from her previous stint and some new members.

“What I hope to do is bring more adhesiveness to the association,” she said.

The coast group was autonomous at one point but is now part of the state association.

“That seems to be working well,” Martin said.

Coast restaurateurs “like having somebody here on the ground. It puts a face on the association, somebody they can see and call,” she said.

She left the restaurant group in 1993 to start the casino association. That group moved back to Jackson, the year she and businessman Bernie Berkholder in 2011.

Martin said one of her goals is to have meetings in which members will get reports from various entities such as the Coast Coliseum and the hotel association on upcoming events that will affect the staffing at restaurants.

“If there’s a huge convention or sports tournaments, they need to know ahead of time. It helps them consider staffing levels as well as product supplies,” she said.

In turn, Martin will attend meetings of the Coliseum Commission, the hotel association and other related groups to stay ahead of what may affect her restaurant members.

“Issues with traffic or health inspections, whatever is facing them at the time, so we can facilitate some kind of solution,” she said.

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