Toast To Tourism Logo

City leaders, hospitality professionals, and others will celebrate the achievements of the local tourism industry at Springfield’s Toast to Tourism at 6 p.m. on April 27 at the White River Conference Center.

The celebration hosted by the Convention & Visitors Bureau brings together people from across the industry to recognize individuals and businesses helping the travel economy prosper. With an annual economic impact of $9.2 billion and more than 22,000 people employed in the leisure and hospitality industry in Greene County, tourism is a crucial economic driver for the area.

The reimagined event will include interactive exhibits, entertainment, award presentations, a glimpse at advertising promoting the area as a travel destination, and other activities representing the local tourism scene.

The most prestigious awards presented in the local travel scene will go to the following:

The Tracy Kimberlin Pinnacle Award

Mike CrockerMike Crocker, executive director at Dickerson Park Zoo, who has worked for the zoo since 1976.

For individuals who have been active in the travel industry for many years and made substantial contributions to the betterment of the Springfield area’s travel industry. 

The Diplomat Award

Stephanie HeinState Rep. Stephanie Hein, retired head of the Department of Hospitality Leadership at Missouri State University and former CVB board chair. 

Presented to a government official, organization or employee who has provided significant support to the Springfield area travel industry.

The Ambassador Award

Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, an event that brings thousands to Springfield annually. 

Presented to individuals or organizations that generated significant economic impact for the area by working to encourage tourism or secure a major convention or event in Springfield. 

The Spotlight Award

Michael SpyresMichael Spyres, world-famous opera tenor and Ozarks native.

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 Hospitality Award

History Museum on the Square, an award-winning museum showcasing local history to visitors and residents. 

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.

Don’t delay! Ticket sales end April 24. Cost is $90 per person and reserved tables are $700. Tickets and sponsorships are available at Proceeds will benefit Friends of the Zoo.

About the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the Springfield area, including Greene, Christian and Polk counties in southwest Missouri. Through compelling marketing initiatives targeting regional and national markets, the CVB helps create a prosperous local economy through growth in tourism, conventions, and sports. Learn more at

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