FORT WAYNE, IN (May 9, 2024) On May 9, Visit Fort Wayne held their inaugural Power of Tourism event at the Parkview Mirro Center.

The event centered around the Hospitality Awards, given to recognize the thousands of hospitality and tourism professionals in our community who work to serve the 8.8 million visitors who come to Allen County every year, bringing over $995 million in spending to our community.

This year's award recipients included:

Rising Star Award - Recognizes individuals who have been in the hospitality industry for fewer than five years and are consistently achieving excellence in their current role.   
Johnny Perez, Te Gustó Hospitality

Service Excellence Award - Recognizes employees who provide exceptional service. Nominees are evaluated on attitude, workplace knowledge and familiarity with the community, communication skills, and ability to exceed visitor expectations. These nominees are ambassadors of outstanding service.
Samantha Strickland, Embassy Theatre

Hospitality Leadership Award - Recognizes a management-level employee for leadership in the local hospitality industry. Nominees are evaluated on management, leadership skills, and their vision for the hospitality industry. These nominees display foresight and exceptional leadership skills and have positively impacted the Fort Wayne/ Allen County hospitality industry and the community.
Brooke Colvin, Hilton Fort Wayne

Diversity Champion Award - Recognizes an individual or organization who, by advocating, educating, developing programs, and raising awareness of DEI and/or accessibility, has strengthened and affected meaningful change to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or accessibility in our hospitality and tourism industry.

Power of Tourism Award - Recognizes an individual who has distinguished themselves in the Fort Wayne/Allen County Tourism industry by exemplifying the highest level of leadership and service. As well as taking steps to improve and invest in the future. Nominees are evaluated on professional excellence, values and integrity, and achievements representing our destination's best.
Rick Schuiteman, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Thomas C. Henry Destination Development Award
Todd Ramsey, Silverado Properties LLC

We were pleased to celebrate each of the deserving nominees and award the recipients.

For additional information or media interviews, please contact:
Kristen Guthrie, Visit Fort Wayne

Media Contact:

Kristen Guthrie
Director of Marketing
Visit Fort Wayne
(260) 424-3700

Visit Fort Wayne, is the official destination marketing organization for Fort Wayne and Allen County. Each year, over 8.8 million people visit Fort Wayne and generate $995 million in direct economic impact.

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Visit Fort Wayne promotes the city and county as an exceptional destination, and leads the growth and development of the visitor experience.