BOWLING GREEN – Fred James, Executive Director of the Prestonsburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, eceived the Mangeot – Oaken Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA).
The announcement was made during the Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference held in Bowling Green, October 19-21. Last year’s recipient, John Shake, General Manager of the Louisville Crowne Plaza, made the presentation.
For the first time in the history of the award, there were dual recipients. The other recipient was Judy Barton, Executive Director of the Bell County Tourism Commission. In announcing the award recipients, Mr. Shake said, “Both of our recipients hail from Eastern Kentucky, and both epitomize the individuality, the resilience, the humor, and the uniqueness that are hallmarks of our mountain culture.” He added, “Another common trait with our two recipients is their love for this industry. And that love is best seen and best understood through the many newcomers to the industry who they have mentored over their careers.”
Mr. James holds a Masters in Public Administration and has served in state government, including as Communications Director for Tourism Secretary Ann Latta in the Patton Administration. He has also served as a city administrator and in multiple state and regional tourism volunteer roles. The local chamber of commerce selected Mr. James in 2003 as businessperson of the year and in 2011 as person of the year.
According to KTIA President & CEO Hank Phillips, “ I am one of those people who has learned a great deal from Fred so I can speak first hand to how deserving he is of this award. He, along with Ms. Barton, embodies the spirit and the energy that makes tourism one of Kentucky’s most exciting and productive industries.”
The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents all segments of Kentucky’s $13.1 billion tourism industry. The 800-member organization engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to Kentucky.