The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau last night presented its most prestigious award to a former Greene County commissioner and state senator.
Longtime Springfield resident Roseann Bentley accepted the Pinnacle Award during the annual Salute to Travel & Tourism awards banquet. The award honors 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, according to a news release.
Prior to taking the stage, numerous members of the community honored Bentley in a prepared video, including CoxHealth Vice President Jim Anderson.
“Roseann Bentley gets it. She totally understands that tourism development is economic development,” Anderson said. “Whether her time on the county commission or whether her time on the Missouri state Senate, Annie has always had as a priority a focus on tourism development.”
According to the release, Bentley has helped improve the city’s travel and tourism industry in many ways, including improving the environment and infrastructure and helping obtain funding for the Wonders of Wildlife museum. While in the Senate, Bentley also was a member of the Tourism Commission.
Announced in December, awards also were presented in four more categories. Awards went to:
• Downtown Springfield’s Hotel Vandivort received the Hospitality Award, honoring attractions, lodging facilities or restaurants that are known for their hospitality and promotion of the area’s travel and tourism industry;
• The Price Cutter Charity Championship took the Spotlight Award, which honors individuals, businesses or organizations that aren’t normally part of the tourism industry but have contributed to it;
• Dan Lennon, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, received the Diplomat Award for government officials, organizations or employees who support the Springfield-area travel industry; and
• The Missouri chapter of Future Business Leaders of America received the CVB’s Ambassador Award, given to individuals or organizations that generate an economic impact for the area by encouraging tourism or securing a major convention or event in Springfield.
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