Winners have gone above and beyond to bring Tourism to Thurston County
Confetti, celebration and s’mores—the tourism community came together to celebrate the impact visitors and locals have on the region’s economy in a summer camp setting at the Annual State of Tourism Meeting.
The meeting, held at the Stampfer Retreat Center on May 2, included the Thurston County Tourism Awards. The awards recognize people who have gone above and beyond to help bring tourism to Thurston County.
Experience Olympia & Beyond, the region’s Visitor & Convention Bureau, gave three awards presented by the Port of Olympia’s new executive director Sam Gibboney. The awards recognize 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: South Puget Sound Community College, Brewing & Distilling Program
South Puget Sound Community College was nominated for their brewing and distilling program. Through their efforts, they are helping to grow the region’s local brewing and distilling while working with community partners such as the City of Tumwater, local industry experts and developers. They have brought the community together around a shared vision and passion for excellent craft products.
Tourism Visionary Award
This award honors an individual whose continuous commitment and trail-blazing accomplishments have set the stage for regional tourism.
Winner: Dave Nickerson, Operations Manager Tumwater Valley Golf Club
Dave Nickerson was nominated for his instrumental help in securing the bid to host the next four years of the WIAA State Golf Championship. His willingness to roll out the red carpet for players and rally the community behind the tournament was evident throughout the process.
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: Sandra Hall, Dillinger’s Cocktails & Kitchen
Sandra Hall is a paragon of hospitality, engaging in heartfelt conversations with customers while simultaneously arranging musical entertainment and staff. She is committed to improving lives of all who walk through the door.
The awards were made from historic Legion Way Oak trees cut in the shape of Thurston County. The oak trees were planted in 1928 as a living memorial to honor local veterans.