MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Thirteen awards honoring attractions and leaders will be presented at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism (AGCT). The 2012 conference will be held in Point Clear Aug. 19-21 at the Marriott Grand Hotel. More than 250 tourism professionals from around the state will gather for the three-day event that opens Sunday, Aug. 19 and concludes with a black-tie awards ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 21.
The awards in the Gulf Coast Region include The Hangout Music Festival for Event of the Year, Bill Barrick, Executive Director of Bellingrath Gardens & Home, will receive the Governor’s Tourism Award and Kim Chapman with the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Tourism Department has been named the Tourism Employee of the Year. The Mobile City Pass has been selected to receive the Tourism Partnership Award, the Welcome Center of the Year is the Baldwin Center on I-10 near Mobile, while the Legislator of the Year Award goes to Rep. Randy Davis of Daphne and the Extra Mile Award will be presented to Alabama Department of Transportation Supervisor John Bell with the Baldwin Welcome Center.
The South Region winners include Ed Bridges, Director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, who will receive the Tourism Hall of Fame award, and the Alabama Tourism Department Employee of the Year will be presented to Marilyn Stamps.
Award winners in the North and Central Alabama Regions are the Birmingham Civil Rights District for Attraction of the Year, the Tourism Executive of the Year goes to Alabama Mountain Lakes Dana Lee Jennings, the Media Advocate Award will be presented to Bob Carlton of The Birmingham News and the Clay County Chamber of Commerce has been named the Organization of the Year.
The conference speakers for the professional development sessions include Patricia “Sister Shubert” Barnes who owns two bakeries in Alabama and one in Kentucky. Famous for her Sister Shubert rolls, her bakeries roll out more than 5 million each day.
Speakers from Southern Living include Publisher Greg Shumann, who will provide attendees a look inside the magazine; Senior Editor Paula Disbrowe is responsible for the magazine’s popular “Tastiest Towns in the South” feature. Author of “Off The Eaten Path,” Morgan Murphy will speak on the Year of Alabama Food.
Houston-based motivational speaker Karen McCullough will present two sessions titled “Stand By Your Brand” and “generations Working in harmony.”
National speaker and author, Randall Dean will present a session on time management, “Taming the E-mail Beast – 45 Strategies for Better Managing Your E-mail Overload.” Steve Belmonte of Vimana Franchise Systems and Hospitality Solutions, will speak on the topic “Managing Change in the Workplace and Creating a Winning Service Culture”
The staff of the Alabama Tourism Department will present an annual update Sunday from 3:30-5 p.m. and a session Tuesday morning from 9:45-11:45 a.m., “The Alabama Tourism Department and You.”
The conference concludes Tuesday evening with the black-tie banquet where 13 tourism awards will be presented by tourism director Lee Sentell and Pete Blohme of Panini Pete’s in Fairhope.
The list of winners is as follows:
Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame-Ed Bridges
Governor’s Tourism Award-Bill Barrick, Bellingrath Gardens
Legislator of the Year Award-Representative Randy Davis, Daphne
Media Advocate Award-Bob Carlton, Birmingham News
Organization of the Year-Clay County Chamber of Commerce
Attraction of the Year-Birmingham Civil Rights District
Event of the Year-Hangout Music Fest
Tourism Executive of the Year-Dana Lee Jennings, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
Tourism Employee of the Year-Kim Chapman, Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Tourism
Alabama Tourism Department Employee of the Year-Marilyn Stamps
Partnership Award-Mobile City Pass
Welcome Center of the Year-Baldwin
Extra Mile Award-John Bell, ALDOT Supervisor, Baldwin Welcome Center
For a detailed agenda on the Governor’s Conference on Tourism visit www.algovernorsconference.com.