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2011 / 2012 Board
of Directors

President: Sally Laukitis,
Holland Area CVB

Vice President:
Mickey MacWilliams,
MI Snowsports Industries Association

Secretary: Julie Pingston,
Greater Lansing CVB

Treasurer: Rick Hert,
West MI Tourist Association

Past President : Barb Barden,
Livingston County CVB


The 2012 Governor’s Awards for Innovative Tourism Collaboration were presented by Governor Snyder on Monday, March 26 at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids.  


2012 Award Winner:

Award for Non-Traditional Tourism Partnerships and Collaboration - the Michigan Port Collaborative

The Michigan Port Collaborative is comprised of more than 50 partners at various ports throughout the State of Michigan.  Their mission is to “unite port communities working to develop our Great Lakes and coastline as ‘Michigan’s Front Door’. “

Past Recipients:

2011 Award Winners
Award for Marketing/Promotion - Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association.
The members of this association collaborated on marketing initiatives, which were designed to move their marketing from traditional print to new digital technologies. They created a new website, which offers more unique ways to interact with guests and promote members than any other B&B website in the country. “Blog Buddies” were incorporated into the website to present team blogging done by innkeepers on a variety of tourism topics.

Non-Traditional Partnerships - Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance.
Culinary tourism is a growing trend in tourism as consumers spend an increasing amount of time and money engaging in authentic and unique food and beverage experiences when they travel. The partnership of the Michigan Restaurant Association, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Travel Michigan collaborated to secure US Department of Agriculture grant funding and create the Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance. The Alliance promotes the state as a culinary destination as well as to encourage more restaurants to serve local food and beverage.

Education and Training - Michigan’s Great Outdoors
Michigan’s Great Outdoors is a five county partnership that promotes tourism for Manistee, Mason, Lake Newaygo and Oceana Counties. One of the group’s accomplishments has been to create a fall tourism conference aimed at education, training and networking within the five counties. Participants of the conference include legislators and representatives of chambers of commerce, EDCs, and extension offices, many of whom have not typically been part of local or regional tourism planning and coordination. This has created stronger partnerships to promote tourism to this region and to strengthen the local economies of these five counties. This effort has led to a collaborative logo, website and marketing strategies.

Experience Development and Presentation - Monroe County Convention & Tourism Bureau
The River Raisin Jazz Festival was created by the Monroe County Convention & Tourism Bureau, the City of Monroe and St. Mary’s Catholic Central High School. The Festival has grown to attract 50,000 festival-goers who travel from 45 of our 50 states and provides an economic impact to the greater Monroe area of 2.5 million dollars. The Festival hosts the biggest names in jazz but also supports local and regional artists. The collaboration strives to use only local vendors to keep its “buy local” commitment. This year’s Festival takes place August 12-13 in downtown Monroe if you’d like to check out this award winning experience yourself.

The Governor’s Awards for Innovative Tourism Collaboration were announced in 2008 by the Michigan Travel Commission as a result of the Travel Industry’s Strategic Plan and were first presented during a special awards ceremony at the 2009 Michigan Tourism Conference. Since 2011, the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) has coordinated the awards process.


P.O. Box 403 - Stanwood, MI 49346 - Phone: 231-823-0015 - Email:
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