Submitted by Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau

The Thurston County Tourism Awards recognize people who have gone above and beyond to help bring tourism to Thurston County. The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) gave three awards to highlight individuals who unite the community, work tirelessly towards achieving a long-term vision or show exceptional hospitality to better the experience for visitors and tourism in Thurston County.

Thurston County Tourism Awards:

Community Unity Award

Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau
Aslan Meade won the Community Unity Award for his work with the Economic Development Council. Photo courtesy: Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau

For those who live out their belief in collaboration and regionalism, working to bring the communities of Thurston County together in the name of tourism.

Winner: Aslan Meade, Economic Development Council
Aslan Meade was nominated for his work and guidance on the South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) and the Thurston Bountiful Byway. His work has cultivated collaboration between the communities of Yelm, Bucoda, Grand Mound, Rainier, Rochester, and Tenino.

Tourism Visionary Award

Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau
Joy and Gray Graham, 222 Market, won the Tourism Visionary Award. Photo courtesy: Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau

This award honors an individual whose continuous commitment and trail-blazing accomplishments have set the stage for regional tourism.

Winner: Joy and Gray Graham, 222 Market
Joy and Gray Graham, in partnership with Lela Cross, crafted 222 Market from a vision to create an artisan market with good food. The result is a travel worthy experience for visitors and locals.

Excellence in Hospitality Award

Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau
John Bourdon of Sandstone Distillery won the Excellence in Hospitality award. Photo courtesy: Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau

All who work in the hospitality business provide an invaluable service to the well-being of our economy. This award honors a hospitality professional who consistently goes out of their way to make visitors feel special.

Winner: John Bourdon, Sandstone Distillery
John Bourdon is a shining example of excellence in hospitality. Not only an amazing storyteller, he goes above and beyond delivering a great visitor experience from the passion he exudes for his business and tourism.

The awards were announced at the VCB’s Annual State of Tourism Meeting by Port Commissioner McGregor and Port Commissioner Zita. The awards were made from historic Legion Way Oak trees cut in the shape of Thurston County.

The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) is the official destination marketing organization of Thurston County. Thurston County is a place where people come to do something remarkable and aim for the extraordinary. Local makers craft one-of-a-kind experiences for visitors to enjoy. Visitors marvel at the iconic capitol building, stroll the beaches or boardwalks, sip local, handcrafted food and beverages and enjoy mindfully crafted experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Thurston County is perfect for hosting sports groups, meetings, events and group travel with 2,400 hotel rooms and state-of-the-art facilities. For more information visit the Experience Olympia & Beyond website or connect on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).

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