AWARDS

2018 CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR’S TOURISM AWARD WINNERS

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and officials from the Connecticut Office of Tourism recognized six individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to Connecticut’s $14.7 billion tourism industry today at the annual Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

“Tourism does more than contribute to our excellent quality of life in Connecticut, it also drives our economy by generating sales, tax revenues and creating jobs,” said Gov. Malloy. “Our investments in tourism have literally put Connecticut back on the map, and are producing real, tangible results. It’s an honor to celebrate the people and organizations that have dedicated significant time and energy to ensure the tourism sector remains vibrant.”

“All of this year’s award winners embody the spirit of partnership that surrounded this year’s conference, and helps drive the Connecticut tourism industry forward,” said Randy Fiveash, director, Connecticut Office of Tourism.

The recipients of the 2018 Connecticut Governor’s Tourism Awards are:

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Connecticut Governor’s Award for
2018 Tourism Volunteer of the Year

Student athletes of Sacred Heart University and Fairfield University, Chowdafest

Named a top event in New England for the past two years by Yankee Magazine, Chowdafest brings chefs and restaurants together to compete for the title of best chowder, soup and bisque in New England. Student athlete volunteers from Sacred Heart University and Fairfield University help make its success possible, handling responsibilities for ticketing, parking, sampling and sustainability. Over the years, the volunteers have created not only an efficient system, but a tradition of service.

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Connecticut Governor’s Award for
2018 Tourism Rising Star Award

Matt Beaudoin, Owner, Mystic Knotwork

Matt and Jill Beaudoin own and operate Mystic Knotwork, the first and oldest knot shop in the U.S. The Beaudoin’s have become tourism ambassadors, using their knot bracelets and decorations as a way to spread interest in Connecticut. Matt continues to grow the business while serving as a member of the Greater Mystic Tourism Marketing Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut Tourism Coalition, and Downtown Mystic Merchants Association.

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Connecticut Governor’s Award for
2018 Tourism Partners of the Year Award

Woodbury Antiques Dealers Association

The Woodbury Antiques Dealers Association strives to foster communication between its dealers and the local business community, as well as visitors to Woodbury — known as the “Antiques Capital of Connecticut.” The Association was instrumental in the creation of the Connecticut Antiques Trail flag, which clearly identifies the shops along Connecticut's roadways. It also helped lead the effort to get shops listed on www.CTvisit.com.

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Connecticut Governor’s Award for
2018 Tourism Leader of the Year Award

John Mathers, General Manager, Madison Beach Hotel

John has been general manager of Madison Beach Hotel since it opened in 2012. Under his leadership, the hotel was awarded two of the industry’s highest honors: AAA’s 4 Diamond Rating and Hilton Hotel’s prestigious “Connie Award.” As a member of the Madison and Greater New Haven Chambers of Commerce, John has cultivated professional partnerships that have driven international travel to Madison in particular, and Connecticut in general.

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Connecticut Governor’s Award for
2018 Tourism Legacy Leader

Lawrence McHugh, President, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce

Larry has been president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce since 1983, where he has worked closely with local leaders to develop partnerships, spread awareness of tourism and bring attractions, hotels and restaurants to the region. Over the course of nearly three decades, Larry has served on the Connecticut Tourism Council, Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, and the Tourism Advisory Council.