Tourism Awards & Scholarship Dinner


Oh what a night...

We celebrated some of the 23,000 people who work in the tourism industry in February. If you missed this preeminent black-tie event, we were sorry you couldn't make it. Make plans for next year. We'd love to have you join us on the third Thursday night of February 2015.

It's never too early to nominate someone for next year. Fill out this form.

Check out pictures here. Take a look below at a list of those who were honored in 2014:

Service Leader Award goes to someone in a leadership position. It went to Jamie Parks, region director of food and beverage at Savor…Savannah. Parks received this award for his excellence in every job he encounters. His clients appreciated the WOW factor he brings, and his employees looked to him as an example of performing everything with excellence.

Service Star Award goes to someone on the frontlines of hospitality. For the first time this year, it was a tie between two individuals. Nick Webb, server at Lady & Sons, received the award because of his willingness to go above and beyond to serve the guests. Marquelle Jones, host/greeter at the Old Pink House, received the award for his infectious smile and for helping Savannah live up to its “Hostess City” reputation.

TLC Member of the Year Award went to Diane Rousakis of United Distributor. Rousakis received this award because of the extended hours and hard work that she endured during the Savannah Food & Wine Festival. Rousakis kept the 350 volunteers and employees of TLC grounded and sane. Her dedication and passion for the mission of TLC has been awe-inspiring.

I AM TOURISM Award, one of the highest honors awarded, went to Leonard Massey, general manager of Hampton Inn on Bay Street. Once a dishwasher now a general manager, Massey leads his employees by encouraging them to look up the ladder of success and achieve their goals.

Herb & Franklin Traub Visionary Award went to Charles Morris, a true visionary of the community of Savannah. Morris envisioned the Charles H. Morris Center at Trustees’ Garden as a cultural center that the Savannah community and tourism industry can benefit from for many years.

John P. Rousakis Community Champion Award went to Stephanie Cutter, City Manager of City of Savannah. Cutter actively fights for the tourism industry in many avenues, recently starting the City of Savannah’s tourism office.


Scholarship winners were Kelli Brunson, Andrew Lawrence, Randi Parton, all from University of South Carolina –Beaufort campus and Pulkit Chawla from Savannah Technical College.

Kelli Brunson is a Hospitality Management major and English minor at University of South Carolina – Beaufort campus. Brunson received the TLC scholarship because she believes that communication skills in the hospitality industry is important to its growth. 

Andrew Lawrence is a Hospitality Management major at University of South Carolina – Beaufort campus. Lawrence received the TLC scholarship because he has a passion for training and development and creating unforgettable experiences. 

Randi Parton is a Hospitality Management major at University of South Carolina – Beaufort campus. Parton received the TLC scholarship because she expressed her interest in data collecting at festivals and how useful the data is for marketing purposes and success of a festival. Parton would like to continue working with festivals in her future. 

Pulkit Chawla is pursuing his degree in Culinary Arts at Savannah Technical College. Chawla received the TLC scholarship because he has a vision to open a fine dining restaurant featuring a menu reflecting the globe and give patrons a diverse dining experience along with personal service. 

If you would like to apply for a scholarhsip for the 2015 school year, please fill out the application here.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this very special night happen. We ask that as you make your purchasing decisions, please remember the following sponsors for their kindness and generosity to our industry.