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 Tourism Award for
2019 Tourism Volunteer of the Year

Tina Tison, Director of Marketing, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Since joining The Maritime Aquarium as Director of Marketing in October 2016, Tina has led the development of strategies and executions to drive attendance of the second largest tourism destination in Connecticut. Her creative approach maximizes resources and exposure for the aquarium and its mission. She has delivered proven results including helping to raise attendance levels to record-setting levels in the past two years alone, and has successfully piloted programs targeting new audiences, notably young adults and movie fans.

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Connecticut Tourism Award for
2019 Tourism Rising Star

Amanda Arling, General Manager, The Whaler’s Inn

Amanda has been with The Whaler's Inn since December of 2016. In that time, she has not only led the property through a multi-million dollar renovation but has taken on various volunteer commitments as well. In addition to being named to the board of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, Amanda is in her second year as co-chair of the Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival, among many other events and committees. Now a member of the Board of Trustees for the Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce, Amanda shows no signs of slowing down professionally or in her obligations to the multitude of non-profits which benefit from her tireless commitment. 

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Connecticut Tourism Award for
2019 Tourism Partners of the Year

The Passport to CT Farm Wineries Program
Rebecca Eddy, Connecticut Farm Wine Development Council & Hilary Criollo, Owner, Hopkins Vineyard

The Passport to CT Farm Wineries program was developed to promote and encourage visits in 2006-2007 to help market Connecticut’s farm wineries. Today, the Passport program works cooperatively with 40 licensed farm wineries in every county and the Connecticut Wine Festival organized by the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association. Rebecca Eddy and Hilary Criollo have worked together closely in a public-private partnership that has seen participation in the program continue to grow, distributing more than 60,000 passports in 2019 and launching an app for winery enthusiasts to make it easier than ever to participate in the program.

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Connecticut Tourism Award for
2019 Tourism Leader of the Year

Kathleen Maher, Executive Director, The Barnum Museum

Kathleen has been in a leadership position with the Barnum Museum for several years, and no one is more passionate about keeping the legacy of “The Greatest Showman,” P.T. Barnum, alive and well, here in Connecticut and in the U.S and around the world. Despite the damage to the building’s physical structure caused by natural disasters including a tornado and Superstorm Sandy, Kathleen’s faith in ultimately repairing and reopening the museum has never wavered. Today, under her leadership, the museum is working to become a living, breathing symbol of renewal in the face of adversity.

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Connecticut Tourism Award for
2019 Tourism Legacy Leader

Len Wolman, Chairman & CEO, Waterford Group and Waterford Hotel Group

For more than 30 years, Len has worked to ensure the success of the tourism industry in the Connecticut. A Certified Hotel Administrator, he has served as a founder and executive board member of the non-profit group Mystic Coast & Country, which promoted tourism in southeastern Connecticut, as well as chairman of the Industry Advisory Board of the University of New Haven’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism, and on the board of the Connecticut Hotel and Motel Association (now the Connecticut Lodging Association). In 2003, Len was named as Connecticut’s “Tourism Person of the Year,” and in 2004, he was recognized by the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce with the “William Crawford Distinguished Service Award.”  With numerous other accolades, appointments and associations through the years, Len’s commitment to supporting tourism efforts in Connecticut continues to be focused and unwavering.