Tourism Awards and
at 17th Annual Tourism Unity Dinner
Connecticut Tourism Industry Leaders
First Lady Presents 2004 Ambassador Award
(WINDSOR, CT) - More than 350 industry
professionals turned out for the 17th Annual Tourism Unity Dinner at the
Hartford/Windsor Marriott as the new Commission on Culture and Tourism presented
its annual industry awards and scholarships, including the Tourism Leader of the
Year and the 2004 Connecticut Ambassador Award.
Formed in 2003 to guide the efforts of
Connecticut's Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film industries, the
Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism is comprised of government and
industry leaders. The Commission's Executive Director is Jennifer Aniskovich.
For the first time, the annual event featured
live dance and musical performances, reflecting the Commission's new emphasis on
Connecticut's arts and culture scene. Among the three performers were Pilobolus,
the nation's most beloved modern dance group, based in Washington Depot; master
percussionist and drum maker Baba David Coleman of the Neighborhood Music School
in New Haven; and The Paul Brown Jazz Duo.
All performers and an artistic creation in honor
of the evening by Connecticut artist Karen Rossi, were coordinated by the
Commission's Arts Division.
Arthur Hill Diedrick, head of the Connecticut
Development Authority and a nine-year chairman of the state's Tourism Council,
was named Connecticut's Tourism Leader of the Year for 2004.
The Tourism Leader of the Year Award honors a
leader in the Connecticut travel and tourism industry who has:
- Contributed substantially to the advancement
of the travel and tourism industry;
- Helped to develop the image of Connecticut as
a travel destination;
- And, helped significantly to communicate the
economic, cultural and social importance of tourism.
"In his various capacities, Arthur has
provided strong leadership in the investment of state resources to develop
tourism products, including Mystic Aquarium, Lake Compounce, Adriaen's Landing
and numerous businesses supporting tourism," said Edward Dombroskas,
Director of the Tourism Division of the Commission on Culture and Tourism.
In 1998, Diedrick championed the first Strategic
Development Plan for Tourism in Connecticut and it became a nationally
recognized model, Dombroskas added.
First Lady Patricia Rowland presented the 2004
Connecticut Ambassador Award to Christopher Cloud, president and chief executive
officer of AMISTAD America which oversees our state's official Flagship and Tall
Ship of history and human spirit - the Freedom Schooner Amistad.
The CT Ambassador Award was created to recognize
a person on the front line of the tourism industry who creates a positive and
lasting first impression for visitors.
Two "Spirit of Connecticut" awards
were also presented to Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury and to the University
of Connecticut Athletic Department. The Spirit of Connecticut Awards recognize
the positive achievement of an individual or organization that celebrates
Connecticut's spirit and enhances the state's image.
The Automobile Association of America/Hartford
and the Connecticut Motor Club also presented 13 Diamond Awards for restaurants
and lodging establishments in Connecticut.
Note to Editors: A list of all
award winners is attached. Photos will be available within a week of the event.
Jennifer Aniskovich, Executive Director,
Edward Dombroskas, Tourism Division, 860-270-8075
Kathleen Goffa, MD&C, 860-624-4151