California Travel Association to Honor Industry's Best at 30th Annual Summit June 4-6

May 08, 2012, 10:00 ET from California Travel Association


Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola Among Recipients of Prestigious 2012 California Travel Association Awards 

BURBANK, Calif., May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to advance the state of California's travel industry will be honored at the California Travel Association's (CalTravel) 30th Annual California Travel Summit,June 4-6, at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Noted as the state's premier travel/tourism/hospitality education and networking conference, the Summit will recognize seven outstanding individuals/entities with the following 2012 California Travel Association (CTA) Awards:

  • F. Norman Clark Tourism Champion of the Year: a tribute to CalTravel founder F. Norman Clark, recognizing tourism excellence in a specific year or a body of work. 
    Recipient: Surf industry legend, Jack O'Neill.
  • Tourism Stewardship of the Year: Recognizing an individual or organization that has done the most to protect, preserve, restore, improve, expand, or otherwise enhance California's natural, cultural, or historical treasures. 
    Recipient: Santa Monica based environment advocacy non-profit, Heal the Bay.
  • Restaurateur/Chef of the Year: Recognizing an individual chef or restaurant that has created a dining establishment and experience that effectively marries the culinary arts with the tourism industry. 
    Recipient: Michael Chiarello, award-winning chef and owner of critically acclaimed Bottega restaurant in Napa Valley.
  • Winery of the Year: Recognizing both the winemaker's product excellent as well as the winery's contribution to developing the California tourism brand. 
    Recipient: Francis Ford Coppola Winery located in the historic Chateau Souverain of Alexander Valley.
  • Excellence in Tourism Advocacy: Awarded to an elected state or local level individual who has fostered and advanced the concerns of travel, tourism and/or hospitality. 
    Recipients: State of California Assembly Member, Jared Huffman.
  • California Travel Industry Award for the Promotion and Advancement of Tourism: Awarded to an individual who has impacted California tourism through their efforts and dedication on a national basis. 
    Recipient: Hornblower CEO and president, Terry MacRae.

Georgiana P. Clark, CEO of Roaring Camp Railroads will also be recognized and honored as a result of her inspiring influence on travel, tourism and hospitality throughout California, and her efforts and accomplishments throughout the years.

In celebration of CalTravel's "30th Summit Anniversary," the event will present the "Emerging Leaders Award" to 30 individuals, 30 years of age or younger. These "rising stars" have been nominated by tourism businesses throughout California for their individual efforts, contributions and "spirit" and reflect California's exciting "new leaders" of tourism.

"The California Travel Summit awards are a critical component of our annual event, recognizing the essence of the industry's ongoing effort to keep travel thriving, not only within our own state but worldwide," said CalTravel's President & CEO John Severini. "2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the organization and our honorees are truly reflective of the impact of tourism over the last three decades!"

New this year, Summit attendees will have the opportunity to meet with key staffers and available state legislators in support of travel industry jobs on 'CalTravel Rally Day,' Wednesday, June 6, 2012. The Rally Day begins at 10:45 a.m. at the conclusion of the Summit's exciting June 6 final "WAYMISH Customer Service" keynote address by author and world renowned "Customer Service Evangelist" Lee Tomlinson.

For full information on all the award winners, click here:

For online registration and full information about the summit, award recipients, rally and more, visit  

The California Travel Summit has gained industry-wide recognition as one of the State of California's most significant opportunities for travel and tourism professionals to share and improve individual knowledge, refine business relationships and add a voice to ongoing political discussions. Participants are offered a host of professional development sessions aimed at raising awareness of legislative issues and industry trends, developing marketing strategies and improving business practices.

CalTravel is the unified voice for the California travel industry's political concerns. By advocating directly to the state legislature, the Governor's office, local and federal officials, businesses, and the public, CalTravel addresses issues that affect the state's tourism industry. CalTravel also aggressively seeks to ensure continued funding for Visit California.

SOURCE California Travel Association