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Governor Brewer, Arizona Office of Tourism Honor Industry Leaders at Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

July 18, 2014

Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) honored statewide tourism leaders at the 2014 Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala held during the industry's annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.  AOT Director Sherry Henry presented the awards during the event held at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, July 17. More than 400 industry representatives were in attendance.

“You are our best ambassadors to those who look to move here, open a business or just spend their money here,” Governor Brewer stated to the group. “The value of our tourism industry extends well beyond the pure economics. Tourism helps our cultural and historic preservation. It improves our own quality of life for Arizona families.”

Statewide nominations were submitted for the 12 award categories. Winners were selected on general evaluation of qualifications such as exceptional efforts, innovation, uniqueness and measurable results. The judging committee was comprised of a selection of tourism industry representatives and AOT staff. 

“Tonight we recognize and honor statewide organizations or individuals who have made substantial contributions to the success of our tourism industry. Their outstanding examples of creativity, leadership, commitment and teamwork help define our industry and continue to make the Grand Canyon State the unparalleled travel destination it is today,” stated Sherry Henry, director of AOT, at the awards event.

Awards were presented in the following categories: Cooperative Marketing, Innovative Promotions (Rural and Urban), Special Events (Rural and Urban), Arizona Preservation (Rural and Urban), and Green Tourism. AOT also honored individual achievements in the categories of Spirit of Service (Individual and Group), Tourism Champion of the Year and Tourism Hall of Fame.

Winners are listed below:

  • Tourism Champion of the Year:  Greg Bryan, General Manager of the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, Mayor of Tusayan
  • Tourism Hall of Fame:  James Ballinger, Director, Phoenix Art Museum   
  • Spirit of Service – Individual:  Jane Bliss, The Museum Club
  • Spirit of Service – Group:  Support Sky Harbor Coalition
  • Cooperative Marketing:  Alpine Harvest Festival – Grand Canyon Railway, Bearizona, Williams Chamber of Commerce 
  • Innovative Promotion – Rural:  Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, Reimaging and Marketing Campaign
  • Innovative Promotion – Urban:  Visit Mesa, Destination Video – City Limitless
  • Arizona Preservation – Rural: Copper Art Museum
  • Arizona Preservation – Urban: Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center
  • Green Tourism:  The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Xeriscape Program
  • Special Events – Rural: Parker Area Chamber of Commerce, The 36th Annual Parker Tube Float
  • Special Events – Urban:  Yuma Visitors Bureau, Centennial Celebrations  

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. 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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