Ticket sales end at 5 p.m. today for the annual Salute to Travel & Tourism Awards Banquet

The banquet is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center and tickets are available at springfieldmo.org/banquet. Cost is $50 per person or $475 for a table for 10.

During the event, the Convention & Visitors Bureau will honor five people and organizations with prestigious awards for their contributions to Springfield's travel industry:

  • 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 the 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.

For more information, call 417-881-5300.

The Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nonprofit marketing agency dedicated to boosting the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.