For a moment it was a Blue Ridge Day in Jacksonville,
Florida. On Tuesday, November 5, the Southeast Tourism Society held its annual
Shining Example Awards banquet honoring the best in the industry. Friends and
colleagues who I have known and admired over the years were honored. But I was
especially proud to see my own community recognized with the Governmental Tourism
Leadership award.

The leaders of Roanoke County and the cities of Roanoke
and Salem recently got together to iron out a funding formula for the Roanoke
Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau that will allow them to expand their
marketing efforts to truly compete against similar sized destinations in the
southeast. That kind of forward thinking and genuine cooperation makes for good
government worthy such a prestigious award. I was pleased to be in Jacksonville
for the ceremony to see the mayors of Roanoke and Salem, the city manager from
Salem, and a representative of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors accept
the award alongside Roanoke Valley CVB President Landon Howard. Their presence
at the Shining Example Awards banquet shows that these leaders are committed to
expanding tourism and that they understand the full economic impact that travel
has on the Roanoke Valley. 



6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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