North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau holds Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

The North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau held their Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony on Nov. 2 at the Beauport Hotel, 47 Commercial St., Gloucester. North of Boston CVB leadership presented the 2016 Essex County Tourism Awards, recognized 2016 Tourism Mini-Grant Recipients, inducted new board members and thanked outgoing board members for their service.

2016-17 Board of Directors
Executive Board: Kate Fox, chair — Destination Salem; Jennifer Close, vice chair — Peabody Essex Museum; Patrick Cornelissen, immediate past chair — Hawthorne Hotel; Tammy Harrington, treasurer — Salem Trolley; Bethany Groff Dorau, secretary — Historic New England; Pilar Garro, at large — The Trustees of Reservations, Castle Hill at the Crane Estate; and Tami O’Brien, at large — Encompass Premiums & Apparel.

Board of Directors: Julie Arrison-Bishop — House of the Seven Gables; Michael Bevilacqua — Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce; George Carey — FINZ Seafood & Grill and Sea Level Oyster Bar; Tobin Dominick — Cape Ann’s Marina Resort; Karen Nascembeni — North Shore Music Theatre; James O’Brien — Topsfield Fair; Rinus Oosthoek — Salem Chamber of Commerce; John Orlando — The Harborview Inn; Linn Parisi — Over the Bridge Tours; Eva Valentine — Aegis Financial Strategies Inc.; Taunya Wolfe Finn, CTP — Wolfe Adventures and Tours LLC; Rhonda Woodman — Woodman’s of Essex; and Ann Marie Casey, North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau — Ex Officio.

New Directors: Krista Marchand — DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore; Drew Russo — Lynn Museum/LynnArts; and Merry Ward — Salem Witch Museum.

Departing Directors: Tina Jordan ­— Salem Witch Museum; and Scott Marshall — Seacoast Events.

2016 Award Winners
The 2016 Anne Turcotte Leadership Award was presented to Donna Abdulla, who owns Joe’s Playland in Salisbury with her family. This leadership award was renamed in 2012 in honor of CVB colleague and friend Anne Turcotte. The award is given to an individual or organization whose innovation, expertise and energy serves as an inspiration for others in the tourism industry.

The 2016 Geoff Woodman Hospitality Award was presented to Robert Simonelli, a partner and general manager at the Landing Restaurant in Marblehead. The Geoff Woodman Hospitality Award is given to an individual who has contributed significantly to the tourism industry of the North of Boston region and honors the NBCVB member who best exemplifies the region’s hospitality.

The 2016 Story Teller Award was presented to Ryan Conary, the marketing and reservations coordinator at The House of the Seven Gables in Salem. The Story Teller Award honors the region’s best storytellers — the individuals, who share not only their company’s story, but also the history and culture of the region in everything they do in celebration of the North of Boston’s regional theme: “A Story in Every Mile.”

The 2016 Small Business Award was presented to Dan Clapp, the owner of 1634 Meadery in Ipswich. The Small Business Award is given to a small business owner who recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and is committed to servicing the visitors of Essex County.

The 2016 Frontline Hospitality Award was presented to Carol Earle, a long-time front desk employee at the Emerson Inn in Rockport. The Frontline Hospitality Award, given for the first time in 2012, was designed to honor a member of the region’s frontline service ambassadors. The friendliness, knowledge and customer service of these individuals set the tone for a visitors’ stay within the region. This individual regularly goes beyond to provide exceptional customer service and encourage guests to explore the region while visiting.

The 2016 New Member Award was presented to Carla Villa, the director of sales and marketing at Ipswich Ale Brewery in Ipswich. The New Member Award is given to a new member of the North of Boston Convention and Visitors’ Bureau who recognizes the importance of tourism within the region and has made great strides within their first year of membership to support tourism.

The 2016 Award of Appreciation was presented to the National Park Service. This year marks a century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs. Essex County is home to both the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site. The Award of Appreciation is given out to those individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote tourism in Essex County.

The 2016 Special Recognition Award was presented to the Ellis family, owners and operators of the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon in Gloucester.
For many years, the North of Boston CVB has implemented a Tourism Mini-Grant program as part of its core programming. Over the last five years, the CVB has awarded more than $200,000 in matching grants to chambers, destination marketing organizations and nonprofit organizations throughout Essex County to assist with tourism promotion projects that include print, website development, blogging, digital, TV, YouTube, audio messaging, radio, social media projects, language translations and signage for tourism-related businesses. In 2016, the CVB awarded 11 Tourism Mini-Grants, totaling $45,000.

2016 Tourism Mini-Grant Recipients
Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
Discover Gloucester
Essex Merchants Group
Essex National Heritage Commission
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce
Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce
Marblehead Museum
Rockport Division, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
Salem Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs: Destination Salem
Salisbury Chamber of Commerce
The House of the Seven Gables

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