The Convention & Visitors Bureau today announced the recipients of four of its Salute to Travel & Tourism awards and will announce its Pinnacle Award honoree at a banquet Feb. 15.

  • The Hospitality Award will be presented to Springfield Hot Glass Studio. This award is presented to an attraction, lodging facility or restaurant which demonstrates outstanding hospitality to the traveling public and exhibits a team spirit in promoting growth of Springfield area travel and tourism.
  • The Diplomat Award will go to Terry Whaley, who served as executive director at Ozark Greenways for more than 20 years before retiring in 2017. This award is presented to a government official, organization or employee who has provided significant support to the Springfield area travel industry.
  • The Spotlight Award will go to Aaron Owen, executive director at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. This award is presented to an individual, business or organization not usually considered part of the travel and tourism industry for noteworthy contributions in advancing travel and tourism in the Springfield area.
  • The Ambassador Award will go to the Missouri State High School Activities Association. This award is presented to individuals or organizations who generated significant economic impact for the area by working to encourage tourism or secure a major convention or event in Springfield.
  • The Pinnacle Award for individuals who have been active in the travel industry for many years and have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the Springfield area’s travel industry will be announced at the banquet.

Tickets for the banquet that begins with a reception at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center can be purchased at Cost is $50 per person or $475 for a table of 10.

To sponsor the event, contact Jane Rips at or 417-881-5300, ext. 105.

The CVB wishes to thank the following sponsors for their support:

Platinum Sponsor

  • University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center

Gold Sponsors

  • Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
  • Downhome Productions
  • EAS Investments Hampton Inn/Home 2
  • Elliott Lodging
  • History Museum on the Square
  • Oasis Hotel & Convention Center
  • O’Reilly Hospitality
  • Springfield Cardinals
  • Walker Hospitality

Silver Sponsors

  • Isagenix
  • Springfield-Branson National Airport

Bronze Sponsors

  • Andy’s Frozen Custard
  • Cantrell-Barnes Printing & Disc Works
  • Collegiate Awards
  • Gary Ellison Productions
  • Hotel Vandivort

To view a list of previous award recipients, go to

The CVB is a nonprofit marketing organization dedicated to boosting the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.

For more information, call 417-881-5300.