Fourteen individuals and organizations were recognized for their accomplishments during this past year during the 2019 PEAK Awards Luncheon at the AMLA Annual Meeting in Decatur on Sept. 26. The program pays tribute to tourism leaders, attractions, festivals and organizations that set the bar for North Alabama’s $3 billion tourism industry.
“The PEAK Awards showcase the best of the best in the North Alabama tourism industry,” said Reist. “These talented industry professionals know how to tell our story, and these awards give us a chance to celebrate their work and the impact it has on the North Alabama region. And by impact, I mean exponential growth in job numbers, economic development and revenue for local cities and counties.”
Organization of the Year – Joe Wheeler State Park, Rogersville.
The Organization of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member organization that has contributed significantly to the betterment and development of tourism in North Alabama in the past year.
Event of the Year – Santa’s Underground Workshop at Rickwood Caverns State Park, Warrior.
The Event of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member special event or festival that has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.
Attraction of the Year – Jules J. Berta Winery and Vineyard, Albertville.
The Attraction of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member attraction that has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.
Good Neighbor Award – Patti Culp, executive director, Alabama Travel Council, Montgomery.
The “Good Neighbor” Friend of Tourism Award is presented to a person or organization whose body of work has had a significant impact on tourism in the past year.
Northern Star Award – Faye Smith, sales manager, Hampton Inn, Guntersville.
The Northern Star Award is presented to an individual, such as a ranger, guide and a front line employee, who has gone “above and beyond” expectations.
Young Professional of the Year Award – Randa Hovater, media relations manager, Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.
The Young Professional of the Year “Green Apple Award” is awarded to a person who has been in the tourism business less than seven years and has exhibited extraordinary leadership skills and initiative associated with their position.
Tourism Professional of the Year – Mayor Brandy Pierce, Leesburg.
The Tourism Professional of the Year award is presented to an individual or employee of an AMLA member organization who has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.
Lasting Impression Award – David Johnson, DJ Productions, Sheffield.
The Lasting Impression Award is presented to an attraction, event, person or organization that has provided a “lasting impression” on tourists thereby improving the overall image of tourism in North Alabama.
Chairman’s Cup – Jennifer Breuer, Rocketcitymom.com, Huntsville.
The Chairman’s Cup Award is given annually to a travel writer or media person who has over time demonstrated support of AMLA, the region and its tourism activities.
President’s Award – Jay Lamar, executive director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Montgomery.
The President’s Award is presented to any person or organization whose tourism-related project created awareness or presented a positive image for North Alabama in the past year.
Legacy Award – Tim Haney, north region operations and maintenance supervisor for the Alabama State Parks Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The Legacy Award recognizes an individual who has shown a long lasting and permanent contribution to the tourism and travel industry over the years and has helped change the tourism landscape of North Alabama.
It Only Takes A Spark Award – Haley Schrieber, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Tuscumbia.
It Only Takes A Spark Award recognizes an individual or organization who is igniting change and making a positive impact on the tourism industry in North Alabama through their initiative, creativity and spirit.
Top Performing Ambassador – Amanda Bridges-Dunn, Birmingham, Ala. (Instagram @adventuringlight / Twitter @adventuringlt)
The award recognizes the work and achievements of the top performing North Alabama Ambassador for 2019.
Influencer Award – Melea Hames, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Decatur.
The Influencer Award goes to an individual or organization whose innovative ideas and concepts in social media have made a significant impact on the tourism industry in North Alabama.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.