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Arizona Office of Tourism Honors Industry Leaders at 2012 Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala

July 16, 2012


PHOENIX (July 16, 2012) – The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) honored industry leaders at the 2012 Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala during the industry’s annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. AOT Director Sherry Henry, along with Eileen Klein, Chief of Staff for Governor Jan Brewer’s Office, presented the awards during the event at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. The annual conference is the industry’s premier professional development event where attendees gain valuable insight from informative breakout sessions and industry-related speakers.

More than 400 tourism industry professionals from both the private and public sectors were in attendance to honor their colleagues. The conference, held July 12 – 13, was sponsored by AOT and the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. 

Nominations for the awards were submitted for nine award categories. Winners were selected on general evaluation of qualifications such as exceptional efforts, innovation, uniqueness and measurable results. The judging committee comprised of a selection of statewide tourism industry representatives and AOT staff.  

“Tonight we recognize our colleagues for their outstanding examples of leadership, commitment, teamwork, creativity and their determination, and how all their efforts have contributed to what makes the Grand Canyon State the unparalleled travel destination it is today,” stated Sherry Henry AOT director during the ceremony. 

Awards were presented in the following categories: Cooperative Marketing, Innovative Promotions, Special Events (Rural and Urban), Arizona Preservation, and Green Tourism. AOT also honored individual achievements in the categories of Spirit of Service, Tourism Champion of the Year and Tourism Hall of Fame. The industry also recognized individual contributors to Arizona’s Centennial events. 

Winners are listed below:


  • Cooperative Marketing – Taste of Historic Old Town Cottonwood
  • Innovative Promotions – Free Board Every Day the Sun Doesn’t Shine,  Yuma Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Arizona Preservation – Fort Apache and the Theodore Roosevelt School
  • Green Tourism – Grand Canyon Railway, Ecologix 
  • Special Events – Rural – Bisbee 1000, the Great Stair Climb
  • Special Events – Urban – Spring Training Festival
  • Spirit of Service – Gary Muholland, Apache Junction, Arizona (posthumously)
  • Tourism Champion of the Year – Arizona Centennial Commission
  • Tourism Hall of Fame – Steve Moore, President & CEO of Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau 


For a complete list of past winners, visit

About the Arizona Office of Tourism

Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism is charged with enhancing the state economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion and development. AOT works to serve the Grand Canyon State’s travel industry and related businesses, the traveling public, and the taxpayers of Arizona.



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