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May 22, 2013
Contact: Jim Mahon, Director of Marketing & Communications
ZENITH AWARDS & HOSPITALITY SCHOLARSHIP HIGHLIGHT
BUREAU'S 2013 NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK CELEBRATION
Akron, Ohio - In recognition of travel and tourism's positive economic, social and cultural impact on the area, the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrated the 30th annual National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4 - 12, 2013. Travel and tourism is a $1.12 billion industry annually in Summit County and employs more than 19,000 hospitality professionals.
As part of the celebration, the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau sponsored the 12th annual Zenith Awards. Recognizing contributions made by Summit County hospitality partners, an on-line ballot was available to partners and residents to cast votes across seven categories. Recipients of this year's awards include: Art/Culture - Akron Art Museum; Point of Interest/Attraction – Akron Zoo; Dining/Restaurant – Dante Boccuzzi Akron; Community/Special Event – Polar Express; Outdoor/Recreation (TIE) – Metro Parks, Serving Summit County & Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Bike Aboard; Theatre/Entertainment - Akron Civic Theatre; and Retail/Shopping – Hudson’s First & Main. Through a separate nomination process, the Bureau also awarded the Susan L. Hamo Hospitality Person of the Year Award to Jenilee Grabenhorst, General Manager – Hampton Inn Akron/Fairlawn. Four additional Zenith Awards were presented to: Hospitality Partnership, Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail; Hospitality Web Site, FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby; Friend of Hospitality, Cindy Petal – Adventures in Stamping Expo; and Hospitality Volunteer, Linda Van Fossen, Akron Zoo. Board Chairman, Gregory Bean also presented the Chairman's Award to Mitchell D. Kahan (Director Emeritus, Akron Art Museum) for his dedication and service to the hospitality industry.
The Bureau hosted the 10th annual Hospitality Scholarship Golf Tournament to benefit The University of Akron Summit College Hospitality Management Program. Proceeds from the tournament are used to fund the annual $2,000 Donald L. Patterson Hospitality Scholarship. To date, the scholarship has received $20,000 in tournament proceeds.
The Bureau's mission is to promote and position Akron/Summit County as an ideal destination for meetings, conventions, group tours and leisure travel.
DIGITAL PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST:
# 1. Zenith Awards – Group Photo of award recipients
# 2. Zenith Awards (L to R) – Gregory Bean (Bureau – Chairman, Board of Directors), Mitchell D. Kahan (Director Emeritus, Akron Art Museum) & Gregg Mervis (Bureau, President & CEO)
# 3. Hospitality Scholarship Golf Tournament check presentation (L to R) – Gregory Bean (Bureau – Chairman, Board of Directors) & Dean Stanley Silverman (Dean, The University of Akron Summit College)