The Ketchikan Visitors Bureau last month held its annual awards banquet at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, presenting five awards to individuals and businesses in the community for work on tourism.
The Rainbird Award, the bureau's award recognizing an entity that has "volunteered their time and talents to further the efforts of the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau and the visitor industry in Ketchikan," was presented to the accounting firm of Milner, Howard, Palmer & Edwards. The bureau recognized the firm "for its philanthropy and support of the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau by providing accounting services to the organization at highly discounted rates."
The bureau presented the Spirit of Alaska Award to Jesse and Melanie Tiffany of Eagle One Enterprises, in recognition of "friendliness and service to visitors (that) exemplifies Ketchikan's high standards for hospitality," per the announcement packet.
Allen Marine nominated the Tiffanys, "noting that they appreciated the community over competition approach — sharing news and information with other marine operators and helps make our island community more robust and attractive for visitors from around the world," per the summary document provided by KVB.
The Heart of the Community Award, which recognizes efforts of an individual or organization in the tourism industry that has demonstrated support for programs that benefit local needs, was presented to Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour.
The company started a memorial crab pot program with passengers to raise funds for fishing industry charities," the announcement explains. The program uses crab tags that are used to log catches by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The tags are typically discarded, but through the program, passengers can donate a small sum to the fishing industry charity to write a message on a tag, which is then attached to a crab pot. The program has raised $80,000 for various organizations since it was started.
The bureau presented the Chinook Award, recognizing "efforts to bring meetings and conventions business to the community," to Mary Wanzer and the Alaska Realtors Association.
The Alaska Realtors Association convention in September generated over 500 hotel room nights and had an economic impact of more than $200,000 over the course of six days. Wanzer is with Coastal Keller Williams Realty and helped to organize and plan the event.
The Golden Totem Award was presented to Bonfire Bay Tour Company, which provides tours to Hump Island Oyster Farm, for "(demonstrating) new ideas and cooperative efforts in working with Ketchikan's visitor industry," per the description of the award.
Bonfire Bay was honored for "sharing the growing Alaska mariculture industry with visitors from all over the world and providing a one of a kind experience that is not offered anywhere else in Alaska," per the award.