Awards and Appointments!
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Alex Nikoloff has accepted the position of Communications Specialist with the Center for Education Networking (CEN) in Charlotte, Michigan, and will be leaving the Tourism Resource Center in early May. In his new career, Alex will be responsible for writing and editing publications focused on the education of individuals with disabilities. Alex has worked at the Tourism Resource Center since 1998 and led the Center’s World Travel & Tourism Tax Policy Center project for much of this time. More recently, Alex has been involved in organizing the first annual Michigan Tourism Investment Forum and managing the Tourism Center’s Tourism Assistance Program in west-central Michigan.
Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA), the leading industry advocate group for North American airports, recently announced that Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) has received two awards, in its large (Class D) airport category, in ACI-NA's 7th Annual Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest. Detroit Metro Airport received the awards for Best Retail / Specialty Program, for DTW's industry-leading retail program in the McNamara Terminal, as well as 2nd place for Most Innovative Concession, for DTW's unique Ora Oxygen spa concept also located at the McNamara Terminal.
Rick Hert has been named the new Executive Director of West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA), effective April 12. He brings 21 years of organizational management experience to the position. Since 2002, Hert has been operating his own marketing and consulting firm in Port Angeles, WA. Previously, he served as Executive Director for the North Olympic Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau, Port Angeles, WA; Bend Chamber of Commerce, Bend, OR; and Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, Newport, OR. He has a BA in communications with emphasis in public relations and marketing from Central Washington University and a pending MBA from Baker College.
The annual report of the top 100 independent restaurants in the country by Restaurants & Institutions (April 2004), a national restaurant trade publication, ranked Zehnder's of Frankenmuth as number two for serving 906,883 meals in 2003. The 1,500-seat restaurant, located 90 miles north of Detroit in the Bavarian village of Frankenmuth, is also ranked as number 32 in total of food and beverage sales in the country at $11.6 million.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently invited Dr. A.J. Singh, Assistant Professor in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, to serve as a member of the 2004 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Frommer’s, a leading authority on travel, recently ranked Ann Arbor, Michigan as the #6 “Best City to Live” in 2004 out of more than 400 metropolitan areas across the United States in their newest guide, Cities Ranked and Rated. Rankings were based on a 100 point scale, using 10 different criteria: Economy & Jobs, Cost of Living, Climate, Health & Healthcare, Crime, Transportation, Leisure, Arts & Culture, and overall quality of life. Ann Arbor’s total score was 91.2.
Marquette County, the Traverse City Region, and the City of Grand Rapids were recently recognized as some of “America’s Most Livable Communities” by Partners for Livable Communities, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and renewing America’s communities. This award recognizes communities for their novel approach to economic development, utilizing assets such as arts and culture resources, creative financing strategies, and collaborative leadership to re-animate downtowns and develop their communities so that they become competitive in the new global arena. The Grand Rapids area was one of eleven cities selected in the mid-sized cities category, while Marquette County and the Traverse City Region were two of five areas selected in the regions category. There were a total of thirty cities that received recognition.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm recently announced the following appointments to the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council. The Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 charges the council with the promotion of Michigan's wine and wine grape growing industries. Priorities of the council are encouraging growth of the industry, promotion of Michigan wines, funding research to support wine grape growing in Michigan, and sponsoring training opportunities for industry development. The council is funded through non-retail liquor license fees.
Elizabeth Berger of Traverse City, general manager of Chanteau Chantal Winery on Old Mission Peninsula. Ms. Berger is appointed to represent wine makers for a term expiring October 9, 2005. She succeeds Roberta Kurtz whose term has expired.
David Miller of Lawton, vice president of Winemaking & Viticulture for St. Julian Wine Company. Mr. Miller is appointed to represent wine makers for a term expiring October 9, 2005. He succeeds Sean O'Keefe whose term has expired.
Kristin Jonna of Dearborn, manager of Merchant's Fine Wine. Ms. Jonna is appointed to represent retail food establishments that hold a specifically designated merchant license and sell Michigan wines for a term expiring October 9, 2005. She succeeds Rosalind Mayberry whose term has expired.
Louis Gostinger of Port Huron, president and owner of Lakeside Beverage Company. Mr. Gostinger is reappointed to represent beer and wine wholesalers marketing Michigan wines for a term expiring October 9, 2005.
Joseph Herman of Benton Harbor, owner of Herman Farms. Mr. Herman is reappointed to represent grape growers for a term expiring October 9, 2005.
Donald Coe of Traverse City, managing partner of Black Star Farms. Mr. Coe is reappointed to represent wine makers for a term expiring October 9, 2005.
The Tourism Resource Center at Michigan State University is pleased to welcome two visiting scholars for the next six weeks. Dr. Serdar Ongan, Assistant Professor from the Department of Economics at Istanbul University in Turkey, and Dr. Apostolos Gotsias, Assistant Professor from the Department of Business Administration at the University of the Aegan in Greece, have received scholarships to develop ways that Turkey and Greece can work together to offer two-country package tours to tourists.