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Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council Honors Cindy Johnson of Savannah Marriott Riverfront
& Bill Wade of Courtyard by Marriott Historic District for Exemplary Service in Hospitality Industry

Savannah Morning News, Ga.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 14, 2009--The Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council presented several major awards and five scholarships at the 11th annual Tourism Awards & Scholarship Dinner, which took place Wednesday at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront.

"We are excited to recognize exceptional members of Savannah's tourism and hospitality industry," said Marti Barrow, executive director of the Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council. "I only wish that we could recognize all of the success stories in this vibrant industry in Savannah. But, the individuals honored tonight represent the best of the best and we are very proud of them!"

Savannah City Manager Michael Brown received the John P. Rousakis Community Champion Award, which is named in memory of former Savannah Mayor John Rousakis. It is given to an individual responsible for supporting tourism and promoting Savannah.

Paula Deen, TV personality and owner of The Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, received the Herb and Franklin Traub Visionary Award. It is given to an individual who consistently works to promote tourism growth, recognizes and nurtures the potential of new projects for Savannah, and creates awareness for the city. The award is named in memory of Herb Traub, the former owner of The Pirates' House, and his late wife, both of whom were involved in the hospitality industry for many years.

Brendan Ferrara of Savannah Technical College earned the Member of the Year Award, which is presented to a member who has demonstrated consistent dedication to the organization.

Cindy Johnson of the Savannah Marriott Riverfront received the Service Leader Award. The TLC Service Star Award was presented to Bill Wade of the Courtyard by Marriott Historic District. Both service awards recognize exemplary job performance in the hospitality industry.

Student scholarships

Each year, TLC presents scholarships to students pursuing hospitality careers. To date, it has given $38,000 in scholarships to area students. This year, five scholarships totaling $3,000 were presented at the event. They were given to Barbara Favery of Georgia Southern University, Petya Kostadinova of Savannah Technical College, Tacuma McCraw of Hershel V. Jenkins High School continuing his education at Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina, and Seth Nix of the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

The Sheldon Fox scholarship, given in honor of the founder and first board president of the TLC, was awarded to Chesnee Fly of the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

"Developing the work force for our industry needs to start at a young age. Through the TLC, we are able to contribute to the education of several very deserving students," said TLC board President Mark Dana.

"We are very proud of them and look forward to their future contributions to the area's growing hospitality industry."

The Tourism Leadership Council is a nonprofit professional association that provides resources to businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries. Its mission is to provide a unified group with committed leadership pledged to promote, protect and serve the interests of the tourism and hospitality industries of the Savannah area.

Proceeds from the event go toward TLC programs, including scholarships for college students pursuing hospitality careers, work force development initiatives, networking opportunities for industry professionals, educational seminars for industry employees and an emergency fund available for members in times of crisis.

For information, go to www.tourismleadershipcouncil.com or call 232-1223.

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Copyright (c) 2009, Savannah Morning News, Ga.

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