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Nominations for Chrysalis Awards honorees due by end of February

By Staff | Jan 12, 2011

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Inc. are seeking nominations for the Second Annual Chrysalis Awards to honor businesses and individuals who have positively impacted the local community.

Award nominations are due on Saturday, Feb. 26 and are open to any member of the local business community, regardless of whether or not they are directly a part of the tourism industry.

Award recipients will be announced at a jointly hosted Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show on May 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.

The event, co-produced by the VCB and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber and held to commemorate National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrates the value of tourism and the community teamwork involved in maintaining and enhancing tourism as a major economic engine for the county. The event also is part of the VCB’s year-round Team Tourism informational program to strengthen destination teamwork.

The awards, designed to foster a stronger alliance between the tourism industry and the county’s business community, will honor recipients in the categories:

• Business Development

• Eco-Innovation

• Cultural Achievement

• Education

• Sports

• Sales & Marketing.

A seventh award category is the VCB’s long-standing Junonia Award, created to recognize those individuals who have positively impacted the local tourism community by demonstrating unique capabilities, leadership, commitment, and dedication.

A panel of local business community leaders will judge nominations and select one award recipient in each of the six categories; and, as in past years, the Junonia will only be awarded at the sole discretion of the VCB. Business and individual nominees for the six Chrysalis Awards will be judged on their innovation in their respective category, how they have distinguished themselves in the community, the results of their efforts to promote the destination, their contributions to business and tourism partnerships for the overall benefit of the county, and their work to foster growth and sustainability.

“Destination visitors often spark future leisure visits, conventions, relocations and other business opportunities. The Chrysalis Awards signify an ongoing partnership between the business and tourism communities to ensure that continues to happen,” said Tamara Pigott, VCB executive director. “By partnering, we are working together to help the business community gain greater awareness of the tourism industry’s role in our economic livelihood, while helping tourism partners better understand the needs and role of the larger business community.”

Pigott said the awards committee chose the name Chrysalis for the program because it signifies the final stage before a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, the metamorphosis in which its growth and differentiation occur. Committee members see it as an appropriate symbol of the desire to build and foster a stronger strategic partnership between tourism and the larger business community.

While the VCB has always pooled its resources with those of local chambers for the common good of the destination, this is the first such alliance between the VCB and a local chamber. In addition, all local chambers are involved with the new program.

“We’re celebrating our work together to create stronger relationships that encourage new visitors and ultimately new businesses for our area,” said Marietta B. Mudgett, executive director of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, whose organization initiated the joint program. “Tourism and business partnerships improve community growth, encourage vacationers to our destination, and create job opportunities for our citizens. Ultimately, pooling our resources for the good of the community and the destination is vital in this ever-changing economic climate.”

The Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show where the awards will be announced will feature a trade show from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the awards luncheon will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Costs to attend the event are $35 for a single admission and $300 for a reserved table for eight attendees. Those who wish to exhibit in the trade show will pay $160, which includes two admission tickets. The event is projected to attract about 400 attendees.

Those who wish to nominate a business or individual to receive a Chrysalis Award can visit the Team Tourism section of www.LeeVCB.com, where they also can register for event attendance and trade show participation through a link to the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce website at www.fortmyers.org.

For questions or further event details, contact either Christine Davlin at the VCB at cdavlin@leegov.com or 239-338-3500, Glee Ann Agius at the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at GleeAnn@fortmyers.org or 239-332-2930, ext. 211, or Colleen DePasquale, event chairperson, at colleen.a.depasquale@marriott.com or 239-332-4747.

Source: VCB