Community Heroes Recognized at Annual Tourism Awards Dinner
The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) held their Annual Tourism Industry Awards Celebration Wednesday evening at the Colorado Springs Crowne Plaza.
Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 8, 2012 – This year’s theme: A Community of Heroes. Industry awards were presented by CVB Board Chair Alicia McConnell, who is also the Director of Training Sites and Community Partnerships at the U.S. Olympic Committee, and CVB President & CEO Doug Price.
The evening, led by special guest and KRDO news anchor Jon Karroll, recognized regional first responders and those tasked with rebuilding the devastated neighborhoods after the Waldo Canyon Fire. Guests were treated to a performance by the Flying W Wranglers. Award presenters included City Councilman Scott Hente and County Commissioner Sallie Clark, who both served heroically during and after the fire. Those first responders recognized included the Pueblo Interagency Dispatch Center with Jerri Marr accepting the award and Colorado Springs Together with Team Leader Bob Cutter accepting the award. Other first responder recognitions went to:
· Palmer Lake Fire Department
· Security Fire Station 2
· Stratmoor Hills Fire Department
· Hanover Fire Department
· Calhan Fire Department
· Cañon City Fire Station 1
· Mountain Communities Volunteer Fire Department
The Tourism Industry Achievement Award was given to Bonnie Frum, who recently retired after 18 years as Director of Operations for Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. This particular award is not presented every year and is reserved for rare inpiduals who have made a profound mark on the local tourism industry.
The CVB enlisted the help of member partners to nominate and recognize management, staff and volunteers who acted heroically during and after the fire as well as throughout the year.
The Management Hero Award was given to Brian Healy of the Colorado Springs Marriott. Healy updated and executed the evacuation plan for the property two days prior to the fire and worked with Chuck Murphy of Gray Line Tours to pre-arrange for the safe evacuation of guests should it become necessary. Due to Brian’s foresight, planning and excution, the staff was able to safely evaucate more than 1,000 guest within 35 minutes.
The Volunteer Hero Award was given to Carol Ekarius, Executive Director of the Coalition of the Upper South Platte. Carol and her volunteers have spent more than 5,000 hours at Flying W Ranch, falling trees throughout the property, donating seed, providing instruction on promoting vegetation growth and preventing or mitigating flooding.
The Staff Hero Award was given to Jason Moore, Operations Director of the Flying W Ranch. When the fire broke out, Jason immediately returned to the ranch to evacuate the horses and save priceless memorabilia. Throughout the weekend, he provided refreshments to firefighters and policemen. He drove a hay-filled truck to coax the cattle to safety in the northern pasture and then returned as soon as he could to care for them until they could be relocated to Norris-Penrose Event Center.
From the CVB staff, Kathy Reak, Director of Convention Sales and Cheryl McCullough, Sports & Special Events Sales Manager, were both recognized for 15 years of dedicated service to the organization.
Event sponsors included Crowne Plaza, Ent Business Banking, KRDO News Channel 13, Colorado Springs Utilities, DocuMart, Marvel’s Cake Boutique and Miller/Coors.