During its 25th annual “Celebration of Tourism” luncheon held at the Duncan Center in Dover, Del. on Nov. 10, 2016, Kent County Tourism presented its Tourism Champion Award to the Delaware Department of State for the contributions that the agency and its component divisions and affiliates have made to the tourism and hospitality industries in Kent County. The department was one of six individuals and organizations honored as part of the annual Kent County Tourism Awards program. The luncheon also provided an opportunity for the tourism agency to unveil its new Kent County brand-identity: “Delaware’s Quaint Villages—At Your Own Pace.”
Before presenting the award, Wendie Vestfall, executive director of Kent County Tourism, noted that “the Delaware Department of State has been an active partner with Kent County Tourism for many years through the work of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Delaware Public Archives, the Division of the Arts, the Division of Libraries, the Delaware Heritage Commission and the First State Heritage Park. From the John Dickinson Plantation to the Children’s Theatre, the Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art and more, sharing Delaware’s unique and diverse culture is central to the department’s mission.”
Speaking to representatives of the department’s divisions and affiliates who were present at the awards ceremony, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock noted, “I have a great department and most of it is centered here in Kent County. … To all of you from the Department of State who contribute to the economy of Kent County, thank you for the terrific job you do.”
Additional individuals and organizations that were honored at the ceremony include Michael Leister, executive director of the Air Mobility Command Museum who received the Legacy Award; the Firefly Music Festival which was honored as the Tourism Attraction of the Year; Redner’s Warehouse Markets which was named Tourism Partner of Year; Jim Rafte of Proforma Preferred Solutions who was honored as Tourism Volunteer of the Year; and Sarah Zimmerman, superintendent of the First State Heritage Park who was named Tourism Person of the Year.