The Missouri Governor’s Conference on Tourism took place on October 4-6 in Cape Girardeau. This annual conference, hosted by the Missouri Division of Tourism, not only included the awards ceremony but also featured educational workshops and guest speakers covering a range of topics related to the tourism industry. Donna Miller, the Guest Relations Manager at the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Joplin), was honored with the Tracy Kimberlin Hospitality Award. This award is given to individuals, businesses, or organizations that actively support and promote tourism in Missouri through different means, such as involvement in tourism projects, promoting Missouri attractions and events, and going the extra mile to ensure travelers have a great experience in the state.
Other recipients of tourism awards at the conference included Lynn Berry, Director of Communications for Explore Branson, who was inducted into the Missouri Tourism Hall of Fame. The Tourism Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have worked in the industry for a minimum of 10 years and whose contributions have significantly and measurably impacted tourism in Missouri. Explore Branson also won the Marketing Campaign Award, and Ashile Beede, Director of Marketing for Explore Branson, received the Rising Star Award.
Additional award recipients included Elizabeth Phelps, Assistant Director for Discover Saint Charles, who earned the Pathfinder Award; Zdeněk Jurásek, host of Radio 66, who received the Navigator Media Award; Lambert’s Café in Sikeston also received the Tracy Kimberlin Hospitality Award; Jessica Pabst was honored with the Film Industry Champion Award, and Cody Smith, Missouri Representative for District 163, received the Sen. Emory Melton Legislative Award.