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Oregon 2003 Governor's Tourism Award Presented
to Scott West, Executive Director of the
Oregon Lodging Association

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Governor Recognizes Tourism Leaders, Shares Optimism
for Industry at 20th Annual Conference

SALEM, Ore - May 4, 2004 -- Renewed optimism, innovation and commitment were hallmarks of the 2004 Governor's Conference on Tourism, held April 18-20 in Portland.

Attracting more than 350 participants from all corners of the state, the annual conference show cased new tourism and marketing initiatives underway, as well as the recognition of 12 industry veterans honored by Governor Ted Kulongoski for their commitment to tourism and service to the state.

"With the Tourism Commission's aggressive new advertising campaign, the new 'Brand Oregon' initiative and increased funding on the way, 2004 is a pivotal year for tourism, one of the state's largest industries and a top economic driver," said Governor Kulongoski, a keynote speaker at the event. "While the industry is receiving renewed focus -- attention many feel is long overdue -- these awards help us honor the people whose commitment has never wavered. These are industry leaders quietly at work in all regions of Oregon contributing to the health of tourism and our state."

The winners included:

  • 2003 Governor's Tourism Award, presented to Scott West, executive director of the Oregon Lodging Association in Wilsonville, for his dedication to the future of Oregon's tourism industry.
  • 2003 Industry Awareness Award, presented to Cheryl Gribskov, executive director of the Oregon Tourism Information Council in Salem. Gribskov was recognized for 20 years of service connecting Oregon's visitors with attractions, services and local history through the state's highway signage program.
  • 2003 Innovative Tourism Achievement Award, presented to Linda Bell, executive director of the Clackamas County Tourism Development Council in Oregon City. Bell was honored for her highly successful branding of Oregon's Mount Hood Territory and restructuring of Clackamas County's outreach and marketing programs.
  • 2003 Volunteer Achievement Award, presented to Pam England, visitors services manager for the Portland Oregon Visitors Association (POVA). England was recognized for 27 years of service promoting the City of Portland and setting the standard for volunteer administration.
Eight recipients received the 2003 Oregon Welcomes You Award in recognition of their commitment to outstanding customer service and support of the state's Q Customer Service Training Program:
  • Linda Corwin, front desk manager of The Resort at The Mountain in Welches
  • Linda Bell, executive director of the Clackamas County Tourism Development Council in Oregon City, who received her second award at the event
  • Randy Dreiling, executive director of the Oakridge/Westfir Area Chamber of Commerce in Oakridge
  • Natalie Inouye, vice president of tourism marketing of the Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County in Eugene
  • Sally Clay, executive director of the Tillamook Downtown Association in Tillamook
  • Tom Connaughton, president of the Tillamook Downtown Association, Diamond Art Jewelers in Tillamook
  • Richard Walkoski, recreation programs manager of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in Salem, and
  • Connie Bradley, volunteer program coordinator of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in Salem
"It's clear these winners are 'dreamers' in their own sense and true believers in the power of tourism in creating a positive economic impact on local communities," said Todd Davidson, executive director of the Oregon Tourism Commission, which manages the conference. "They also reflect the diversity of the state's rich travel offerings and a shared commitment to the importance of tourism throughout Oregon."

The 2005 Governor's Conference on Tourism will be held April 10-12, 2005 in Pendleton.

The Oregon Tourism Commission directs the state's tourism marketing and development efforts. The commission currently has a staff of 11 and a $3.9 million biennial budget funded by lottery revenues. Nine commissioners from throughout Oregon oversee all OTC programs.

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Contact:
Oregon Tourism Commission
Lisa Richardson
503-986-0002
www.traveloregon.com
Also See: Georgia's Most Dedicated Tourism Professionals Recognized at 2003 Georgia Governor's Conference on Tourism / September 2003
John F. Edman, Director of the Minnesota Office of Tourism, Named 2004 Spirit of Hospitality Award Recipient by the Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau / March 2004
Six Spirit of Hospitality Award Winners Named by Pennsylvania Tourism & Lodging Association / April 2002
Former Mount Rushmore Superintendent Dan Wenk Receives South Dakota Visitor Industry’s Highest Honor - Ben Black Elk Award / Jan 2002


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