The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau has honored four individuals for their work in promoting tourism to the region with this year’s Thurston County Tourism awards.
The awards, according to the bureau, “highlight individuals who unite the community, work tirelessly towards achieving a long-term vision or show exceptional hospitality to better the experience for visitors and tourism in Thurston County.”
Aslan Meade of the Thurston Economic Development Council was given the Community Unity award, which honors an individual who fosters collaboration and regionalism to bring “Thurston County together in the name of tourism.”
Meade was nominated for his work and guidance on the South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) and the Thurston Bountiful Byway. His work cultivated collaboration between the communities of Yelm, Bucoda, Grand Mound, Rainier, Rochester, and Tenino.
The Tourism Visionary Award, which honors “continuous commitment and trail-blazing accomplishments” in regional tourism, went to Joy and Gray Graham of 222 Market. The duo, in partnership with Lela Cross, brought 222 Market to fruition from their vision of a local artisan market.
The Excellence in Hospitality Award was given to John Bourdon of Sandstone Distillery. The VCB lauded Bourdon as “a shining example of excellence in hospitality,” praising his excellence in storytelling coupled with his passion for his business in delivering a great visitor experience.