Any individual, organization or business that serves the tourism and travel industry in Georgia, including non-profit organizations, public service agencies, communities, regional travel associations, private businesses in the tourism and travel industry, and those who work for or are elected to local or state government.

Nominees must posses these attributes to qualify for an award:  Leadership, Creativity, Initiative, Innovation, Customer Service, and Partnership. Statements explaining how nominee demonstrates all six attributes should be included in the narrative section of the nomination form.

Generally the end of July.  The awards committee will announce the deadlines in 2020.

How to Submit a Nomination
Using our online form please provide the following information:
1.  Submitter Contact Info
2.  Nominee Contact Info
3.  Award Nominated For - You must select at least one award for your nomination to be considered, but you may also select more than one. The Awards Committee reserves the right to transfer a nomination to another award category as they deem appropriate.  
4.  Budget category of project/organization nominated.
5.  A narrative stating the reasons you are nominating this individual/organization, not to exceed 200 words.  Include how nominee demonstrates all six award qualifying attributes: Leadership, Creativity, Initiative, Innovation, Customer Service, and Partnership.
6.  Biography of the individual or background/mission of the organization, including the number of years established/spent in the tourism industry.
7.  For all nominations for Paul Broun Award for Marketing Initiatives and Al Burruss Award for Creative Expression include deliverables of the project nominated, for example increasing website traffic, more visitors, increased hotel nights, or increased leads.  
8.  A photo of the individual nominee or logo of the organization nominee.
9.  Up to two letters of reference, collateral materials or other documents that will help to showcase the award criteria attributes to the committee.  Please do not send more than two.  The committee may disqualify a nomination that does not follow these specific instructions. 

Award categories, descriptions, and previous recipients:

Paul Broun Award for Marketing Initiatives recognizes the entity that demonstrates an effective and unique marketing initiative. Given in memory of Senator Paul Broun of Athens who was a huge supporter of tourism. He was elected in 1963 and served many years in service to Georgia. He served as Chairman of the Economic Development, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Committee and played a vital role in the development and appropriations of tourism funding.

2019 Budget Category over $1 million - March Meatness - Explore Gwinnett
2019 Budget Category under $1 million - Fall in Love with Tville - Thomasville Visitors Center
2018 Dunwoody Defined - Dunwoody Convention + Visitors Bureau
History Has a Name - Henry County CVB
Ansel Adams: Before & After - Booth Western Art Museum
2015 Visit Savannah
2014 "Mansions, Moonshine & Gold Mines" - Historic Roswell CVB, Dawson County Office of Tourism and Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau
2013 The Golden Isles Convention & Visitors Bureau
2012 Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau
2011 Columbus CVB - “Meet me in Columbus, GA” film
2010 The Magnolia Highway, Melanie Grace, Americus Convention & Visitors Bureau
2009 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage
2008 Elizabeth Harvill, Vidalia CVB
2005 Macon CVB
2004 Andrew Ward, Cuscowilla Resort
2003 Mark Valentine, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers in Commerce, President of the Northeast Georgia Mountains Travel Association
2000 Judy Renfroe, Cobb CVB
1999 Robert King and Jay Bucek

Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence in leadership skills and abilities. Given in memory of Larry Allen, who was General Manager of Stone Mountain and exemplified all around friendship, support and leadership in the tourism industry.

2019 Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau
2018 Jan Hackett, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
Julie Ford Musselman, GACVB
Leah Poole, Liberty County CVB
2015 Rashelle Beasley, Albany CVB
2014 Barry White, Augusta CVB
2013 Laurie Rowe, Laurie Rowe Communications
2012 Tonya Rosado, Kingsland CVB
2011 Theresa Jenkins, Marietta Visitors Center
2010 Joe Marinelli, Visit Savannah
2009 Lisa Smith, Rome CVB
2008 Peter Bowden, Columbus CVB
2006 Jane Sowell, Milledgeville CVB
2005 Chuck Jones, Athens CVB
2004 Steven Longcrier, Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc.
2003 Dan Rowe, Banyan Tree Consulting Group
2000 Lt. Gen. E.G. Shuler, Jr.

Al Burruss Award for Creative Expression recognizes an individual or entity that develops a creative community public relations initiative. Representative Al Burruss of Marietta was the majority leader and a huge tourism advocate. He was instrumental in using his creativity and energy to get the Tourism Division its first major appropriation in 1985 of $2.5 million which was a drastic increase from the $300,000 allocated in prior years.

2019 Budget Category over $1 million - Golden Isles Hospitality Celebration
2019 Budget Category under $1 million - Free-Range GVL - The Gainesville CVB
2018 Woodstock Visitors Center - Woodstock CVB
HAAS Public School Transportation Fund - Booth Western Art Museum
Dunwoody Convention + Visitors Bureau
2015 Discover DeKalb Destination Guide
2014 Explore Gwinnett - Gwinnett Tourism Awareness Program 
2013 DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau - We Are DeKalb Magazine
2012 Visit Savannah
2011 Ath-Fest and the UGA New Media Institute - the Ath-Fest iPhone App
2010 Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau - Key to Successful Meetings Campaign
2009 Macon CVB  - Macon Rocks! USB Guitar Flash Drive
2008 Marietta CVB  - Hip to be Square
2005 Augusta Metropolitan CVB - Played Augusta Campaign
2004 Janice Marshall, Macon CVB
2003 Bill Marshall, Trenton Downtown Development Authority
2002 Peggy Miller, Macon CVB
2000 Margaret Strong
1999 JoAnne Lewis

Paul Nelson Award for Outdoor Recreation and Preservation was established in 2013 to honor Paul Nelson. Paul had a passion for Georgia’s state parks and devoted his professional life to sustaining and improving the state’s natural resources. He spent most of his career working for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, where he last served as assistant director of its parks, recreation, and historic sites division.

2019               Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance
2018               Becky Kelly, Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites (DNR)
2017               Adventure Lodges of Georgia - Coral Hospitality Georgia, LLC
2016               Augusta Canal Authority
2015               The PATH Foundation
2014               Whitewater Columbus, GA - Columbus CVB

Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding lifetime commitment towards tourism. Named for Tom Kilgore, legislator from Douglasville, who was an early advocate and champion of tourism. Tom was one of the architects of the Hotel/Motel Tax legislation.  In 2011, the Governor's Tourism Conference Lifetime Achievement Award and the GACVB Tom Kilgore Award were combined to form the current Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award.  

2019 Peter Bowden, Visit Columbus GA
2018 Tyron Spearman, Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association
Bill Chapin - See Rock City, Inc.
Ellen Archer, Cartersville-Bartow County CVB
2014 Dotty Etris, Historic Roswell CVB 
2013 Bruce Green, Georgia Department of Economic Development
2012 Ginger Taylor, Retired, GDEcD
2011 Jeannie Buttrum, Classic South Regional Representative

Lifetime Achievement Award

2010 Sabra McCullar, Warm Springs Tourism
2009 Bill Hardman, Jr., Southeast Tourism Society
2008 Spurgeon Richardson, Atlanta CVB
2004 Earlene Crews, Kingsland Tourism Authority
2003 Louis Griffith, Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau

GACVB – Tom Kilgore Award

2010 Marguerite Copelan, Madison CVB
2008 Judy Renfroe, formerly of the Cobb CVB
2007 Brenda Price, GACVB, Columbus CVB

Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Awards
This series of awards was renamed in honor of Bill Hardman Sr. in 2014 in recognition of his tireless support and guidance to the entire tourism industry. There are four categories under the Tourism Champion umbrella in which a Tourism Champion award may be given: Private Sector, Partnership, Product Development, and Government. Award recipients are individuals and organizations that have taken leadership roles in developing tourism opportunities in communities across the state.

Private Sector Champion Award is given to an individual within the private sector who has worked tirelessly to spread the message and garner support for Georgia tourism. The first recipient of this award was Phil Jacobs, President, Georgia BellSouth. As founder of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s tourism committee, Jacobs has long been a proponent of the state’s tourism industry as a viable, promising tool for economic development.

2019 Jason Reott, Georgia Peach World
2018 Paul Milliken, "Good Day Atlanta" on WAGA Fox 5
Craig Miller, Craig Miller Productions
Xavier Roberts, Babyland General Hospital
2015 Jon Brasher, Atlanta Magazine Custom Media
2014 Jeffrey Mills, Mills Marketing Group
2013 Matt Greene and Tom Duke, Populace, Inc.
2012 Jim Nelems, Marketing Workshop, Inc.
2011 Rodney Musselman, Hilton Savannah DeSoto
2010 Larry Halpern, Positive Energy
2009 Sean McGinnis, Emmis Publishing
2008 Trent Mercer, Streeter Printing
2005 Spurge Richardson, Atlanta CVB
2004 Paul Wood
2003 Phil Jacobs, BellSouth

Partnership Champion Award is given to an alliance that collaborates to increase visitation and tourism expenditures in Georgia. The first recipient of this award was Georgia Department of Transportation which partnered successfully with GDEcD and provided the official state maps for distribution at Georgia’s Visitor Information Centers.

2019 Historic Pews & Pulpits Ramble
2018 Hospitality Highway Partnership
Visit Savannah, Golden Isles CVB & Visit Tybee - Port Wentworth Visitor Information Center
Georgia Grown
2015 Golden Isles Convention & Visitors Bureau
2014 Visit Savannah and Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council
2013 Athens Historic House Museum Association
2012 Georgia Historical Society
2011 Luckie-Marietta District, Atlanta
2010 Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter
2009 Georgia Department of Transportation - Discovery, Education, and Heritage Tourism of the Old Federal Road in Georgia
2008 Clarks Hill Partnership of Georgia – Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie, Warren and Wilkes Counties
2005 Mike Beatty and Jim Finch, Department of Community Affairs
2004 Lonice Barrett and Paul Nelson, Department of Natural Resources
2003 The Georgia Department of Transportation

Product Development Champion Award is given to 
a partner agency or individual for outstanding work 
in attracting capital investments for tourism projects.
The first award recognized Nancy Cobb, OneGeorgia Authority, which leveraged the state’s tobacco settlement funds to attract capital investments for tourism projects in the state’s rural areas.

2019 Augusta & Co. - Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau
2018 Columbia County and Columbia County CVB - BMX Track
Brews & Q's Trail - Historic Heartland Travel Association
The Georgia Grown Trail 41 Association, Inc.
2015 Georgia Grown Trail 37 Association
2014 Gone With the Wind Trail Association
2013 Caroline Figiel & Danny Jones, Creative Digital
2012 Destination Brooks
2011 Augusta Canal
2010 Flat Creek Lodge
2009 Martin Harmon, Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation
2008 The Welcome Center of Forsyth/Monroe County
2004 Sabra McCullar, Warm Springs Tourism
2003 Nancy Cobb, OneGeorgia Authority

Government Champion Award is given to an individual or group who has shown extraordinary support of tourism through their legislative or organizational efforts.

2019 Tyler Reinagel, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
2018 Representative Hank Johnson, United States House of Representatives
Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, Georgia Department of Transportation
Commissioner Gary Black, Georgia Department of Agriculture
2015 First Lady Sandra Deal, State of Georgia
2014 New Harmonies:  Celebrating American Roots Music, Georgia Humanities Council
2013 Representative Jason Shaw, Georgia House District 176
2012 Lamar Paris, Sole Commissioner of Union County
2011 Rep. Lynn Smith
2010 Rep. Ben Harbin
2009 Rep. Larry O’Neal
2008 Rep. Ron Stephens
2004 Sen. Jeff Mullis and Rep. Butch Parrish
2003 Rep. Mickey Channel and Rep. Ron Stephens