Albany Tourism Industry Recognizes “Albany Ambassadors” & Hospitality Excellence; Announces Strategic Initiatives

ALBANY – Awards were presented to 17 “Albany Ambassadors,” as well as the Hospitality Excellence Award winner, The Century House, as part of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (ACCVB) Annual Meeting on March 19, 2015, at The Century House.
Albany Ambassadors
Albany Ambassadors are volunteers who bring meetings and events to Albany, building new business and civic pride. The 2014 Albany Ambassadors were responsible for bringing over 11,900 delegates to Albany in 2014 and their meetings filled more than 6,660 hotel rooms in Albany translating to more than $5.1 million in direct spending.

The 2014 Albany Ambassadors are:
-        Mr. Richard Cole, Marimar Lopez, Ph.D. & Sridar V. Chittur, Ph.D., New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors
-        Reverend Dr. Edward B. Smart, Pastor, First Israel African Methodist Episcopal Church
-        Mr. Karl Oestreich, RPI Reunion - Class of 1979
-        Ms. Lisa Kissinger & Mr. Alfred Sive, New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS)
-        Ms. Pat Miller & Ms. Sharon Putney, Sweet Adelines International- Greater NY/NJ Region #15
-        Ms. Jane Sanders, Women of Reformed Judaism (WRJ)
-        Mr. Rob Salkin, American Mensa Society/Mensa of Northeastern NY
-        Ms. Beverly Plowucha, NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region X and XI Bi-Regional Conference
-        Captain Neely Jennings, New York State Police - East Coast Women’s State Police Charity Softball Tournament
-        Mr. Richard McNeal, New York Council of Deliberation
-        Ms. Heather Courtney, Babe Ruth Middle Atlantic Region
-        Mr. Joseph Marturano III, Navy MSO Association Reunion
-        Mr. Bill Kearsing, American Legion Department of New York State

To receive the designation of Albany Ambassador, one must be an event or committee volunteer and the meeting must account for more than 100 room nights. This marks the 22nd year that the ACCVB has honored an exceptional group of Albany Ambassadors.

Hospitality Excellence Award
The ACCVB Hospitality Excellence Award is the only honor developed solely to recognize excellence in travel and tourism in the Capital Region. This year’s recipient was The Century House for its Enjoy One Share One program, whereby a meal is provided to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York for every meal purchased at the restaurant and every hotel room provided. Since June 2009, theEnjoy One Share One program has accounted for more than 500,000 meals.

Strategic Initiatives Announced
Throughout 2014, the ACCVB undertook a strategic planning process led by Bill Geist of industry-leading Zeitgeist Consulting. Mr. Geist presented the key initiatives as a result of the strategic planning that involved many members of the community and tourism industry.
New Board Members AnnouncedThree new board members were officially announced during the meeting: Michael Gulotty, Vista Host; Mark Bardack, Ed Lewi and Associates; Connie Stankivicz, Colonie Center Mall. Each were elected to a three-year term, which began in January.

About the ACCVB
The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visitwww.albany.org.


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