The Thurston County Tourism Awards recognize people who have gone above and beyond to help bring tourism to Thurston County. The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) gave three awards to highlight individuals who unite the community, work tirelessly towards achieving a long-term vision or show exceptional hospitality to better the experience for visitors and tourism in Thurston County.
Thurston County Tourism Awards:
Community Unity Award
For those who live out their belief in collaboration and regionalism, working to bring the communities of Thurston County together in the name of tourism.
Winner: Aslan Meade, Economic Development Council
Aslan Meade was nominated for his work and guidance on the South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) and the Thurston Bountiful Byway. His work has cultivated collaboration between the communities of Yelm, Bucoda, Grand Mound, Rainier, Rochester, and Tenino.
Tourism Visionary Award
This award honors an individual whose continuous commitment and trail-blazing accomplishments have set the stage for regional tourism.
Winner: Joy and Gray Graham, 222 Market
Joy and Gray Graham, in partnership with Lela Cross, crafted 222 Market from a vision to create an artisan market with good food. The result is a travel-worthy experience for visitors and locals.
Excellence in Hospitality Award
All who work in the hospitality business provide an invaluable service to the well-being of our economy. This award honors a hospitality professional who consistently goes out of their way to make visitors feel special.
Winner: John Bourdon, Sandstone Distillery
John Bourdon is a shining example of excellence in hospitality. Not only an amazing storyteller, he goes above and beyond delivering a great visitor experience from the passion he exudes for his business and tourism.
The awards were announced at the VCB’s Annual State of Tourism Meeting by Port Commissioner McGregor and Port Commissioner Zita. The awards were made from historic Legion Way Oak trees cut in the shape of Thurston County.