Visit Anchorage’s “Seymour Awards” Recognize the Best in Alaska Tourism
Anchorage, Alaska – April 14, 2014 – Visit Anchorage recognized service to Anchorage visitors, the community and Alaska’s tourism industry at the 27th annual Seymour Awards Banquet on April 11, 2014. Named for Anchorage’s moose mascot Seymour, each of the awards recognizes an individual, group or business demonstrating excellence in product or service, contributing exceptionally to the visitor industry and Visit Anchorage’s programs or enhancing Anchorage’s image as a visitor destination.
Husband and wife team Liz and Larry Dotson were recognized as Volunteers of the Year: Downtown. Together the couple devoted 450 hours of volunteer time to helping in the downtown visitor information center. Bob and JoAnn Berna won as Volunteers of the Year: Airport, for their 260 hours of volunteering at the visitor center inside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Six long-time volunteers in Anchorage’s visitor centers were inducted into the President’s Circle. This year’s inductees included Jan Wilson with 26 years volunteering; Arlene Schillereff, 28 years; Mary Todd, 28 years; Doris Carey, 29 years; Gwen Christianson, 29 years; and Charlotte Gill, who has volunteered in the visitor information centers for 31 years.
The Alaska Host Committee of the Council of State Governments was recognized as Meeting Champion of the Year. The group consists of locals coordinating the group’s upcoming 2014 annual conference which will bring an estimated $2.3 million in estimated economic to Anchorage. Nearly 1,800 attendees and their guests are expected during the conference, set for Aug. 9-13, 2014.
Alaska Veterans Museum took home the Community Organization Award. Unwavering in their mission to educate the community and preserve the memory of veterans and their sacrifices for America's freedom, the group hosts movie nights and book signings, sends historians into schools, and is reported to send more fan mail to troops than any other small organization in the United States.
Outdoor company Lifetime Adventures won Member Contribution to Visit Anchorage. For more than 20 years, owner Dan McDonough has helped locals and visitors experience Alaska’s pristine wilderness through biking and kayaking. The company was recognized for its support of Visit Anchorage through equipment loans, participation in special tours, support of familiarization programs, and more.
The All Alaskan Award, recognizing those who personify the Alaskan spirit of help and service to others, went to Dee Dee Kay. Now working for the Grande Denali Lodge near the entrance to Denali National Park, Kay has mentored many in the industry during her illustrious career in tourism and also dedicates her time to an array of charitable organizations.
Clarion Suites Downtown won the Member Contribution to the Visitor Industry Award. In addition to striving for the highest level of customer service, staff from the Clarion Suites Downtown regularly volunteer for charitable committees, including Covenant House and AWAIC, as well as community groups such as the Alaska Hotel and Lodging Association and Visit Anchorage.
Major Marine Tours took home the final award of the night as Member of the Year. The family-owned business has operated in Alaska since 1990 and pioneered such innovative programs as bringing National Park rangers aboard day cruises as interpreters. The company is visible year-round, promoting Alaska travel at a variety of travel shows nationwide and educating travel agents, tour operators and consumers.
Visit Anchorage also honored the first five inductees into the Charter Member recognition program. Alyeska Resort, Avis-Rent-A-Car, KeyBank, Princess Lodges and the Westmark Anchorage Hotel each joined Visit Anchorage at its inception, back when the organization was known as the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Visit Anchorage’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. Visit Anchorage’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.
Visit Anchorage press release