Nominations Now Open for Thurston County Tourism Awards

Dave Nickerson with Tumwater Valley Golf Club, received the Tourism Visionary award in 2019. Pictured with Sam Gibboney, Executive Director of the Port of Olympia on his left and Shauna Stewart, CEO of Experience Olympia & Beyond on the right. Photo courtesy: Experience Olympia & Beyond

Submitted by Experience Olympia & Beyond

Experience Olympia & Beyond, the region’s Visitor & Convention Bureau is now accepting nominations for Thurston County Tourism Awards. The three awards recognize community members who champion tourism to Thurston County. The awards highlight individuals who unite the community, work tirelessly towards achieving a long-term vision and show exceptional hospitality to better the experience for visitors and tourism to Thurston County.

Thurston County Tourism Awards:

Community Unity Award

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.

Tourism Visionary Award

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

Excellence in Hospitality Award

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.

Anyone can nominate a qualified community member deserving of the spotlight. Nominations are open through Friday, April 10 and can be submitted online at The awards are announced at the Annual State of Tourism Meeting from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on June 11 at Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel.

Previous award winners include:


  • Excellence in Hospitality, Sandra Hall, Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen
  • Tourism Visionary, Dave Nickerson, Tumwater Valley Golf Club
  • Community Unity, South Puget Sound Community College


  • Excellence in Hospitality, Zoe Wells, La Petite Maison
  • Tourism Visionary, Mayor Wayne Fournier, City of Tenino
  • Community Unity, Robby Rutledge, Rutledge Corn Maze


  • Excellence in Hospitality, John Bourdon, Sandstone Distillery
  • Tourism Visionary, Joy & Gray Graham, 222 Market
  • Community Unity, Aslan Meade, Thurston Economic Development Council


  • Excellence in Hospitality, Charles Clapp, OLTVCB
  • Tourism Visionary, Charlotte Dickison, Dixieland Jazz Festival
  • Community Unity, Craig Ottavelli, OrgSupport
  • Tourism Professional of the Year, Patrick Knutson, Budd Bay Cafe & the River’s Edge

Who: Experience Olympia & Beyond
What: Nominations Now Open for Thurston County Tourism Awards
When: Awards Announced at Annual State of Tourism Meeting
June 11, 3 p.m.
Where: Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel
How to nominate: Click here

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