Downtown Anchorage seen with the Alaska Range to the north.
Ken Graham

Seymour Awards 2019

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Riding the rails of recognition and intrigue, Visit Anchorage celebrated drivers to community support, routes to exceptional service, and ventures into best tourism practices.
The Seymour Awards on April 5 recognized the people and companies in tourism who fast track their work to success. Congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners.

Browse photos from the event.

Meeting Planner of the Year
National Veterans Golden Age Games
Award accepted by Dr. Tim Ballard, Corrie Dreher, Christy Himmighoefer and Scott Kelter, all of Alaska Veteran Affairs Healthcare System
Kathie Evingson recognized their hard work, "The National Veterans Golden Age Games is a multi-event sports competition for older military veterans, and this summer it’s coming to Anchorage. The games’ 1,200 attendees bring an estimated economic impact of over $2.5 million to Anchorage.The local Veteran’s Administration office plays a huge role in bringing the games to Anchorage. Without their commitment to organizing the event and making it a success, we couldn’t have booked the games."

Tour Operator of the Year
Greatland Adventures
Award accepted by Steve Busby
David Kasser shared his appreciation for Steve's dedication, "Over the years the company he started has grown from just a man with a van to a veritable fleet of 7 tour vans, 2 shuttle buses, and 14 employees... They are part of many of our FAMs, including our annual AWE FAMs. Also his general knowledge (that is very unique and well experienced) about Alaska has been an important asset."

Volunteer of the Year, Downtown
Beverly Churchill
Ethan Tyler shared Beverly's impact on the Visitor Information Center, "In any role, she can be relied upon to willingly step up when needed.  She has a long-term relationship with Alaska, having lived in Valdez, as well as Anchorage. She brings a wealth of information to the visitors she serves as she spends time hiking the trails, and enjoying excursions"

Volunteer of Year, Airport
Bonnie Folz
Ethan Tyler shared that Bonnie embodies the volunteer spirit, a passion for sharing Alaska, and "carries that 'Alaskan Spirit' of hospitality." 

Contribution to the Community Award
Alaska School Activities Association
Award accepted by Isiah Vreeman
Jacob Lyon shares his gratitude for Isiah, "Thanks to the hard work of Isaiah Vreeman, Associate Director for ASAA, and many others, Anchorage gets to play host to March Madness championships through the year 2023…a great partnership and an event Visit Anchorage is proud to help welcome." 

Member Contribution to Visit Anchorage Award
Historic Anchorage Hotel
Award accepted by Terri Russi
Phyllis Rice shares that, "although [Historic Anchorage Hotel is] modest in size, they have an oversized ability to partner, serve and help. Whenever there is a journalist or speaker in town who needs a place to stay for a night or two, their crew provide a warm welcome, a dose of local history, and hot breakfast to boot!"

Philanthropic Tourism and Hospitality Award
Kaladi Bros Coffee
Sonya Wellman exclaimed, "Kaladi Brothers Coffee continues to make a great impact on our community, and for that, we are thrilled to recognize them as our 2019 Philanthropic Tourism & Hospitality Champion!"

All Alaskan Award
Scott Habberstad
Julie Saupe shared that Scott "takes his role on the Boards he serves on seriously and goes above and beyond in his efforts to help define what tourism is, what we need to sustain tourism and what it takes for Alaskans to maximize our visibility in the world of tourism."

Sustainable Action Award
Kirk Hoessle
Heather Dudick shared her admiration for Kirk, whose "vision has created some of my most favorite places ever. He has a huge heart, and a compassion and sincerity that I so appreciate.He taught me what it means to feel truly vested in what you do, and the joys of working on an amazing family team."

Visitor Industry Advancement Award
BAC Transportation
Award accepted by Charlie Grimm
Raquel Edelen shared BAC Transportation's impact on tourism in Anchorage, "As sometimes being the first and last people visitors see when they visit our great state, they are stellar ambassadors to our great state, transporting visitors and helping to make arrangements for visitors to experience the best of our region."

Member of the Year
Alaska Botanical Garden
Award accepted by Mike Monteruso 
Glen Hemingson shared that Alaska Botanical Garden's "participation in community events, Visit Anchorage member events like Visitor In-Services and Business Exchanges, as well as their avid enthusiasm for offering FAMs make them an inimitable force in Anchorage."