MANDEVILLE – The Professional Women of St. Tammany named Donna O'Daniels its 2014 Woman of the Year at its annual banquet Oct. 9. The banquet is the organization's largest event, benefiting its scholarship programs aimed at assisting women pursuing higher education and workplace advancement. 

O'Daniels, president and CEO of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission, was honored for both professional accomplishments and community service, according to Betty Bruce, past president of the PWST. Dian Bulen Lusher, a past Woman of the Year winner who nominated O'Daniels for the award, cited her leadership in the interest of St. Tammany Parish as well as for being a key organizer for the Train of Hope mission which helped provide assistance to victims of hurricane Sandy.

O'Daniels has worked with the Tourist Commission since 1996, serving as President and CEO since 2005. She recently was elected president of the Louisiana Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus and is Immediate Past Chair of the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition. O'Daniels received the Louisiana Volunteer Service Award from Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in 2012 for her work with hurricane Sandy victims. She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership St. Tammany.

The Professional Women of St. Tammany organization was formed in 2009. It gave away $25,000 in scholarship monies in June 2014. The majority of scholarship funds comes from PWST's annual Woman of the Year banquet. This year's banquet was held at Maison Lafitte in Mandeville; guest speaker for the evening was entrepreneur and retailer Lauren LeBlanc of Fleurty Girl.

For more information about the Professional Women of St. Tammany, visit and for more on the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission, visit