The Olympia region’s visitor’s bureau has announced the nominees for its Thurston County Tourism awards.

The awards recognize people “who have gone above and beyond to help bring tourism to Thurston County,” according to a press release from Experience Olympia & Beyond, the Olympia region’s visitor and convention bureau. Winners will be announced at the bureau’s Annual State of Tourism meeting on May 2 at the Stampfer Retreat Center in Olympia. The awards are presented by the Port of Olympia.

The nominees are as follows:

Community Unity Award

“For those who live out their belief in collaboration and regionalism, working to bring the communities of Thurston County together in the name of tourism.”


  • Blaine Land, Lacey South Sound Chamber
  • George Sharp, Thurston Economic Development Council
  • South Puget Sound Community College Brewing & Distilling Program

Tourism Visionary Award

Honors “an individual whose continuous commitment and trail-blazing accomplishments have set the stage for regional tourism.”


  • Mayor Alan Carr, Mayor of Bucoda
  • Todd Cutts, Olympia Downtown Alliance
  • Kaufman Construction and City of Tumwater, Deschutes Landing at the Warehouse District
  • Dave Nickerson, Tumwater Valley Golf Club

Excellence in Hospitality Award

Honors “a hospitality professional who consistently goes out of their way to make visitors feel special.”


  • Brandon Andres, Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Lucy Graves, Stottle Winery
  • Sandra Hall, Dillinger’s Cocktails & Kitchen
  • Mallery McDonald, Ramada by Wyndham Olympia
  • Jeff Olive, Airport Golf & Batting Center

The nominees will be recognized at the meeting, and the winners will be awarded plaques made with historic Legion Way Oak trees cut in the shape of Thurston County. The oak trees were planted in 1928 as a “living memorial” to honor local veterans.