toast to tourism

Thank you for joining the Visit Champaign County Foundation as we celebrated the power of travel and tourism locally and nationwide on May 15, 2019 at I Hotel & Conference Center as part of the 36th Annual National Travel & Tourism Week.

During this annual event, we honor local tourism ambassadors who's efforts have paved the way for tourism to the greater Champaign County area or enhanced the visitor experience.

Nominations for the Tourism Impact Awards are being accepted through April 11. Download the nomination form here.

Tourism Impact Award Winners


  • Champaign County History Museum
  • Sam Issa, Sam’s Café
  • Cindy Reynolds, William M. Staerkel Planetarium
  • Mike Ross, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
  • Paty Stipes, American Airlines


  • Illinois Futbol Club
  • Lester Lindsey, Original House of Pancakes
  • Robb Tobias, Central Illinois Bakehouse
  • Kelly White, 40 North | 88 West.


  • Jessica Basalay, Esquire Lounge
  • Noel C. Dicks, Arthur Area Tourism Volunteer
  • Rod Lovett, Parkland College
  • Curtis and Cameshia McGhee, C&C Kitchen, Rantoul
  • Dawn Van Buskirk, formerly of Horve Hospitality Management


  • ciLiving, Nancy Forman
  • Joe Duchene
  • Jameel T. Jones, Champaign Park District
  • The Pygmalion Festival
  • Nancy Snellen, Volunteer, Allerton Park & Retreat Center


  • Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell, Prairie Fruits Farm
  • Josh Laskowski, Stevie Jay Broadcasting
  • Lynne Srull, Jefferson Middle School Archery
  • Peter T. Tomaras, Apollo Hotel Consultancy
  • Jamarr Turner, Aroma Cafe


  • Joyce Curtis, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch
  • Scott Friedlein, Retired Champaign Police Officer/Reynold's Towing
  • Jenese Harris, WICD TV
  • Michael Johnson, Big Grove Tavern
  • Ed Scharlau, Busey


  • Steve Carter, City of Champaign
  • Don Flynn, Game Day USA
  • Steve Flynn, Candelwood Suites
  • Mark Herriott, Columbia Street Roaster
  • David Leake, William M. Staerkel Planetarium

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