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Tourism Industry Honors Leaders at Arizona Governors Conference on Tourism

July 14, 2008

Media Contacts:
Kiva Couchon, Communications Manager
(602) 364-3724

Tourism Industry Honors Leaders at Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism

TUCSON (July 11, 2008) – Arizona tourism professionals recognized and honored industry leaders today at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) Director Margie A. Emmermann and Deputy Director Kelly Paisley presented the awards during the Governor’s Awards Luncheon at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson with more than 500 tourism industry members from both the private and public sector in attendance.

The conference, held July 9 – 11, is sponsored by AOT, the Arizona Tourism Alliance, the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association and the Arizona Restaurant & Hospitality Association.
Awards were presented in the following categories: Innovative Promotions, Cooperative Marketing, Special Events (Rural and Urban) and Arizona Preservation. AOT also honored individual achievements in the categories of Tourism Champion of the Year, Tourism Hall of Fame, Spirit of Service and Lifetime Achievement. Fifty-one nominations were submitted for the nine 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 from around the state and AOT staff.

Winners are listed below:

  • Innovative Promotions – Arizona’s Salsa Trial
  • Cooperative Marketing – Lake Havasu Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Arizona Preservation – Honanki Ruins Site Host Program
  • Special Events – Rural – The Magic of Christmas in Williams
  • Special Events – Urban – Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
  • Spirit of Service – James Hardy, Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Tourism Champion of the Year – Jonathan Walker, Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Tourism Hall of Fame – Dolly Kennedy, Dolly Steamboats
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Raymond Endfield, White Mountain Apache Tribe

The complete list of past winners is posted at

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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