Oshel Craigo, chairman, West Virginia Tourism Commission; Mike Perry, co-founder Heritage Farm Museum and Villiage, winner of the Oshel Craigo Lifetime Achievement Award; and Ken Lowe, owner, Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.
South Charleston, W.Va. – The Tourism Commission recognized the best in the state’s tourism industry at the “Stars of the Industry” award ceremony at the 2012 West Virginia Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
This year’s conference took place Oct. 8-10 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown. The keynote speaker was Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin thanked industry members for their efforts in promoting the state. “Tourism in West Virginia is thriving because of their hard work and cooperation. I am confident that the tourism industry will continue to rise to meet every new challenge,” he said.
The Oshel Craigo Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Mike Perry, co-founder along with his wife, Henriella, of Heritage Farm Museum and Village in Huntington. This award recognizes the “best of the best” in the tourism industry; nominees must have demonstrated continued and long-term leadership, benevolence or contributions to the growth and success of the state’s tourism industry.
The Tourism Professional of the Year Award was presented to Kenny Sexton, president, owner and producer of American Mountain Theater in Elkins. This award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding and significant contribution that enriches West Virginia’s tourism industry, through outstanding job performance, leadership in the tourism industry or development and improvement of tourism facilities and activities.
The Mountain State Award was presented to American Mountain Theater, in recognition for its excellence in programming, quality, distinctiveness, marketing efforts and/or attendance and impact on the state’s economy and/or image.
The Spirit of West Virginia Award was presented to Lemuel Muniz, producer with Moon and Stars Productions, the company that produced the nine Civil War heritage videos for the West Virginia Division of Tourism’s website. The award recognizes his work promoting West Virginia tourism development and enhanced community pride while preserving the state’s cultural, historical or natural heritage and beauty.
Other winners of this year’s industry awards were:
Best Overall Advertising Campaign: Southern West Virginia CVB
Best Overall Marketing Campaign: Greater Morgantown CVB
Best Print Article: Nikki Bowman – West Virginia Living magazine
Best Print Photography Layout: Greenbrier County CVB
Best Internet/E-Magazine Article: Pocahontas County CVB
Best Website: Greater Morgantown CVB
Best Broadcast: “Bizarre Foods”
Nominations were judged by a panel representing the Division of Culture and History, the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association and the West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
For more information about events and attractions in the Mountain State, visit the West Virginia Division of Tourism online at www.wvtourism.com
or call 1-800-CALL WVA (1-800-225-5982).