Ticket Sales End Friday For Travel & Tourism Awards Banquet

Tickets sales end Friday for the annual Salute to Travel & Tourism Awards event honoring local tourism heroes.

Tickets for the event that includes a reception and dinner on Feb. 21 at the White River Conference Center are available at http://bit.ly/CVBTIX. Cost is $60 per individual ticket or $500 for a reserved table of 10.

During the program, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe will present a state of the state’s tourism industry address. CVB staff also will update constituents on achievements in 2018 and plans for 2019 marketing programs promoting Springfield as a travel destination.

Award recipients are the following:

  • John Whittington, owner of Springfield-based Whittington & Associates, will receive the CVB’s top award, The Pinnacle Award, presented to individuals who have been active in the travel industry for many years and have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the Springfield area’s travel industry.
  • Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium will receive the Hospitality Award for an attraction, lodging facility or restaurant which demonstrates outstanding hospitality to the traveling public and exhibits a team spirit in promoting growth of Springfield area travel and tourism.
  • The Diplomat Award for a government official, organization or employee who has provided significant support to the Springfield area travel industry will go to Gov. Mike Parson.
  • The Spotlight Award for an individual, business or organization not usually considered part of the travel and tourism industry for noteworthy contributions in advancing travel and tourism in the Springfield area will go to Missouri State University.
  • Mike Chrispyn, director of the National Street Rod Association, will receive the Ambassador Award, presented to individuals or organizations who generated significant economic impact for the area by working to encourage tourism or secure a major convention or event in Springfield.
  • Dean Kroencke will receive the Volunteer of the Year Award.

The CVB extends a thank you to the following sponsors:


White River Conference Center


Downhome Productions
EAS Investments Hampton Inn/Home2
Elliott Lodging
LaQuinta Inns & Suites-Airport Plaza and South
Madden Media
Oasis Hotel & Convention Center
O’Reilly Hospitality
Rolling Oaks Hospitality
University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center


Gary Ellison Productions
Springfield-Branson National Airport
Learfield News


37 North Expeditions
Cantrell-Barnes Printing & Disc Works
Collegiate Awards
Missouri Meetings & Events Magazine
Springfield Family Restaurant

For more information, call the CVB at 417-881-5300 or 800-678-8767. For sponsorship information, visit http://bit.ly/CVBSponsor.

Tracy Kimberlin is the President & CEO of the Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau