2017 THOMAS A. WAITS DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARDS
Nominations are now being accepted for the Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee) 2017 Thomas A. Waits Distinguished Leadership Awards, recognizing individuals and organizations whose leadership made a significant impact in the tourism industry in Tallahassee-Leon County. This award recognizes excellence in tourism marketing, community initiatives, innovation, developing creative partnerships and/or green/sustainability efforts on behalf of and for the betterment of the tourism and hospitality industry.
The Thomas A. Waits Distinguished Leadership Awards annually honor one individual and one organization for excellence in leadership through outstanding initiative, impact of their work and the inspiration of others.
Recipients of the 2016 awards were Christopher Heacox, director of Opening Nights Performing Arts, for the individual, and the Proof Brewing Co. for the organization.
History of the Thomas A. Waits Distinguished Leadership Awards
In 2001, the “Hospitality Award” was established; recognizing individuals who helped pioneer tourism development efforts in Leon County and helped found the Tallahassee Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (TACVB). In 2003, the award was officially named “The Thomas A. Waits Hospitality Award” – affectionately known as “The Tommy.” It pays tribute to a man who dedicated his career to economic development through tourism. In 2010, the program expanded for also recognizing one organization that reflects the ideals and visionary leadership of tourism excellence.
Nomination forms will be accepted through September 8, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Forms and supporting documents can be accepted via mail, fax or electronically, however they must be received by the deadline.
Nomination forms and supporting documentation are reviewed by the Awards Committee, a panel of tourism and community leaders in Tallahassee and past “Tommy” recipients. The Committee selects the winners. Current Awards Committee members are ineligible for the awards.
Thomas A. Waits Distinguished Leadership Awards Celebration
Please join us for the recognition of this year's “Tommy” recipients during Visit Tallahassee’s 2017-18 Marketing Roll-out (date TBD).
Individuals and Organizations
Individuals and organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry in Tallahassee and Leon County may be nominated. (Organizations include attractions, nonprofits, lodging –hotels or motels--, restaurants, sports venues, meetings and events, groups, etc.)
Previous “Tommy” Awards Winners
Previous “Tommy” Awards Winners are ineligible. See a list of past individual winners below.
You may nominate more than one individual or organization, but no more than three.
Past “Tommy Award” Recipients
|2016 –||Christopher Heacox, director of Opening Nights Performing Arts|
|2015 –||Ricky Bell, director of Student Activities for Leon County Schools|
|2014 –||Bo Schmitz, General Manager of Four Points By Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown|
|2013 –||Lee Daniel, Executive Director of Leon County Division of Tourism Development|
|2012 –||Dr. Mark Bonn, Professor and Director of Distance Learning Programs at Florida State / University’s Dedman School of Hospitality|
|2011 –||Marc Bauer, General Manager of Hotel Duval|
|2010 –||Russell Daws, Executive Director of Tallahassee Museum|
|2009 –||Sharon Ligget, President of Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau|
|2008 –||Bill Hagen, Chair of the Tallahassee Sports Council|
|2007 –||Donna Ross, President/CEO of Florida Attractions Association|
|2006 –||Patricia Grosvenor, Director of Sales at Park Plaza Hotel|
|2005 –||Mickey Brady, General Manager of Cabot Lodge North Monroe|
|2004 –||Chucha Barber, Executive Director of Brogan Museum of Art & Science|
|2003 –||Pace Allen, General Manager of Collegiate Village Inn|
|2002 –||Althemese Barnes, Executive Director of Riley House Museum|
|2016 –||Proof Brewing Co.|
|2015 –||Council on Culture and Arts|
|2014 –||Tallahassee Museum|
|2013 –||The Challenger Learning Center|
|2012 –||Hotel Duval|
|2011 –||Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center|
|2010 –||Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science|