The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Banquet held Nov. 30, 2015 celebrated the achievements of Gatlinburg citizens who have served the community with excellence.
Recognizing his many years of faithful promotion of Gatlinburg as a premier tourist destination, Mayor Mike Werner was named the recipient of the 2015 Zeno Wall Jr. Tourism Award, capping the 2015 Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Banquet Monday night at W.L. Mills Conference Center.
City representatives Vice Mayor Mark McCown and City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle made a proclamation presentation honoring Mayor Werner. Elected as a City Commissioner in June 1999, Mayor Werner has played a pivotal role in the tourism industry in Gatlinburg for many years. Mayor Werner serves on the Sports Advisory Board for the City of Gatlinburg. He was very active in the Marketing Committee in past years and assisted in chamber events during that time. Mayor Werner served as a Director on the Chamber Board for many years and also served as Chamber President in 1994.
“Mike has been such a hard working and valuable influencer of Gatlinburg for so many years,” said Ryan DeSear, Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Board President. “We are so fortunate to have his level of expertise in our community, and he is more than deserving of this year’s Zeno Wall Jr. Tourism Award.
Acknowledging her tireless giving to Gatlinburg through volunteer efforts, Jackie Leatherwood received the coveted William C. Stevens Volunteer Spirit Award. Leatherwood has served as a Director for the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce several times over the years and is currently an active Board Member on the Gatlinburg Hospitality Association. Her passion for tourism has led to involvement on many boards and committees, including Tennessee Hospitality Association, Sevier County Hospitality Alliance, Sevier County United Way, Leadership Sevier, among many others.
“Jackie is such a prominent figure in our community,” said Ryan DeSear, Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Board President. “The ability to juggle her professional obligations, personal life and to still find time to be so involved like she is really says a lot about her love for the people of this area.”
Outgoing Chamber President Ryan DeSear was honored with a presentation, as were Chad Reagan, Brook St. John, Bob Waikel and Cam Caton for their service on the CVB Board of Directors over the past three years.
Elected to the Chamber Board of Directors and announced at the banquet were Sid Maples of Sydney James Motor Lodge, Andy Taylor of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Kirby Smith of Crockett’s Breakfast Camp and Logan Coykendall of Hilton Garden Inn.
Others Honored at the Award Banquet:
2015 Ambassador of the Year
Honoree – Toni Flenniken, Sheer Envy Hair and Nails
First Runner-up – Gene Peitso, A. Jann Peitso, Art!
2nd Runner-up – Baron Mayes, The Thomas Group
Gatlinburg Goes Green Awards
Green Newcomer Award – The Highlands Condominiums
Green Innovator Award – Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park
Green Champion Award – Melissa Keith, Hilton Garden In
B.E.A.R Spirit of Hospitality Award – Josh Wells – Calhoun’s Restaurant