Photography: Travel Wisconsin.com, Kohler-Andrae State Park
Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse
The Governor’s Tourism Awards
Sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Tourism, the Governor’s awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on Wisconsin’s tourism industry. The five award categories include: Legacy, Rising Star, Service Excellence, Stewardship, and Arts, Culture & Heritage.
“We’re excited to partner with Governor Walker to offer Wisconsin’s tourism industry an exceptional annual conference that gives them the tools to keep the tourism economy growing,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “WIGCOT continues to be the premier tourism conference in the state, with top speakers providing insight that can immediately be implemented by our industry partners.”
Governor Scott Walker recently presented five recipients with Governor’s Tourism Awards for their outstanding contributions to the state’s hospitality and travel industry. www.wigcot.org. “Wisconsin’s natural beauty and iconic attractions bring travelers to our state from near and far, but it’s the passion of individuals and organizations in the tourism industry that keeps them coming back year after year,” Governor Walker said.
Devils Lake State Park
“The five honorees recognized are dedicated to great customer service and create projects that help grow the state’s tourism economy.” Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett notes, “Every year we see such an outstanding pool of talent, and this year is no different. Our five honorees should be proud!”
The recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Tourism Awards include:
Legacy Award – Gary Knowles, President, Knowles Communication
For more than 40 years, Gary Knowles has helped put Wisconsin on the “better get there” list for travelers and journalists. As the former Director of the Wisconsin Division of Tourism Bureau of Communications, Knowles dedicated his career to promoting tourism in Wisconsin. He fuels public interest in Wisconsin’s outstanding attractions, events, and byways with his articles in publications such as Midwest Living and Chicago Sun-Times, and serves as a monthly travel advisor on Wisconsin Public Radio’s The Joy Cardin Show.
Rising Star Award – Scott Liegl, Project Event Development Manager, Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau.
As Project Event Development Manager for the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Liegl has played an important role in the rapid growth of sporting events in the area, increasing events from 53 in 2013 to 81 planned under his leadership. Liegl also helped the CVB achieve a 501(c)(3) status for the Central Wisconsin Sports Authority. He first joined the Bureau in 2014 as a Sales Manager, where his ability to organize commissioners, game scheduling, and event bracketing quickly became an advantage in the development of sporting events in the Wausau area.
Stewardship Award – Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds
As a founding member of Travel Green Wisconsin, Cave of the Mounds remains on the forefront of environmental stewardship efforts in Wisconsin’s tourism industry. From creating eco-friendly parking lots to preserving surrounding grounds by planting native prairie and savannah plants, Cave of the Mounds has continually worked to preserve a fragile natural treasure while maintaining a viable business for over 75 years. With its geological wonder below ground and an Environmental Education Center above ground, Cave of the Mounds weaves conservation and education into every aspect of its operation.
Service Excellence Award – Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Milwaukee
Pioneered over 80 years ago by the founder of The Marcus Corporation, “Doing Well by Doing Good” remains at the center of the company’s philosophy to this day. Last year, Marcus Hotels & Resorts associates volunteered more than 28,000 hours in their local communities, and the company donated over half a million dollars to Wisconsin charities like the Boys & Girls Clubs and American Cancer Society. The Corporation is a continued supporter of tourism-driven amenities, such as the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and more.
Arts, Culture, and Heritage – American Players Theatre, Spring Green
Called the “finest classical-repertory company in the U.S.” by Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout, American Players Theatre (APT) hosts over 200 productions that attract nearly 110,000 patrons each year. Heading into its 38th season with a new $7.7 million update to its flagship stage, the Theatre continues to play a major role in making Spring Green a cultural destination for tourists from all over the country. Beyond producing top-quality theater, APT offers visitors a holistic experience that brings together nature, community, and art on its 110-acre property.To learn more about the Governor’s Tourism Awards, visitwww.wigcot.org.
Sand Castles on Lake Michigan
The Arts Mean Business in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Arts Board joined Americans for the Arts in announcing the results of a comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry conducted in Wisconsin over the past two years. The study reveals that local nonprofit arts organizations generate $657 million in economic activity annually, resulting in nearly $75 million in local and state tax revenues, 26,695 in full-time equivalent jobs and $555 million in resident income. These results were compiled as part of a national report entitled Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 released recently.
“The arts and culture – the creative industries – mean jobs for Wisconsin,” Arts Board Chairperson Kevin Miller stated. “This new study underscores the importance of the creative industries’ return on investment, through the many jobs in the arts, and the important role they play in creating the vibrant communities necessary to retain and attract the entrepreneurs and skilled workforce Wisconsin needs in order to compete in the 21st century.”
The Wisconsin study was commissioned by the Wisconsin Arts Board as part of its legislative mandate to study the arts in Wisconsin. The Arts Board also helped to facilitate the gathering of the detailed economic data from 363 Wisconsin arts organizations as well as 8,060 audience surveys. The study measures only the impact provided by organizations and audiences, and excludes spending by individual artists and the for-profit arts and entertainment sector (like Broadway or the film industry).
DOOR COUNTY PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL July 22, 2018 – August 1, 2018
“The Wisconsin Arts Board is proud to have partnered with Americans for the Arts on this study,” said George Tzougros, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board. “We value the arts for their intrinsic worth, and this study reminds us that we can also value their economic contributions. We thank Wisconsin’s nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences for participating in the study and for their significant contributions to Wisconsin’s creative economy.” WI Arts Board
Additionally, Secretary Klett revealed the Department of Tourism’s 2018 informative summer ad campaign. https://www.travelwisconsin.com/