10th annual Beacon Awards – Call for Nominations

The National Travel & Tourism Beacon Awards recognize excellence in hospitality and tourism. They’re an opportunity to highlight the best and brightest in a variety of areas — from back of the house to front of the house; culinary excellence to festivals; conventions and conferences to amateur athletic events. . .each area contributes to a better quality of life for residents and economic growth in Erie County.

Since 2010, Visit Buffalo Niagara has received over 500 nominations! The nominees represent the diversity, creativity and innovation offered in hospitality and tourism in a variety of areas. This year marks the tenth anniversary – and we plan to celebrate in a big way on April 28 at Kleinhan’s Music Hall. In addition to honoring 11 individuals with the Beacon Award, JoAnn Falletta Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, will receive the Tim Russert Award, as she joins Robby Takac, Russell Salvatore and Anthony Conti in the Buffalo Ambassador Hall of Fame.

Nominations are due March 27, 2020Winners will be notified by April 10 and all nominees and award recipients will be recognized at the Beacon Awards cocktail reception on April 28.

NOMINATION INSTRUCTIONS

Only those organizations and individuals who work in Erie County are eligible to receive a Beacon Award. A selection committee comprised of hospitality and tourism college professors review the submissions and select the winners. The diverse range of awards give different segments of the industry an opportunity to be recognized for hard work, professionalism, creativity – all those attributes that made Buffalo Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel in 2020 (Oct. 2019). We look forward to bringing the entire industry together for this wonderful event.

Nomination tips: A well-written nomination greatly enhances the chance of the nominee being selected as the judges look for specific information and examples to support why the nominee meets the criteria to receive a Beacon Award. Additional back up material may include documents which support the nomination, including testimonials, guest comments, photos, newspaper clippings and previous awards that were given during 2019. The online form asks a few probing questions to assist you.

Beacon Awards Nominee

Beacon Awards Nominee
  • Your Contact Information

    Please include your contact information should we have questions regarding your nomination.
  • Nomination

    Please complete the fields below.
  • Nomination Category

    Please describe why this nominee is deserving of a Beacon Award. Use examples and as much specific information as possible. Self-nominations are encouraged.

    Additional back-up materials may include up to 10 individual documents supporting the nomination, such as testimonial letters, guest comment cards, photos, newspaper clippings, etc. that were received throughout the course of the past year. Unfortunately, we can't accept attachments through the website, so please mail those to 403Main Street, Suite 630, Buffalo, NY 14203, Attn: Beacon Nomination or you may email them directly to kincaide@visitbuffaloniagara.com

    LODGING CATEGORY

    This category includes hotels, motels, hostels, inns and bed and breakfasts.

    OUTSTANDING LODGING EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR Presented to an employee (non-management) who consistently demonstrates exemplary job performance and goes above and beyond the call of duty. Candidates must serve customers either directly (such as concierge, restaurant server, front desk supervisor) or indirectly (housekeeper, service technicians, etc.).Details of exemplary conduct and notable successes will assist the judges in their selection.

    OUTSTANDING LODGING MANAGER OF THE YEAR
    Presented to a managerial level employee who exhibits phenomenal service not just to guests but also to their colleagues through exemplary leadership. Candidates must serve on a supervisory/management level (catering manager, food and beverage, sales and marketing) and exemplify leadership qualities while offering outstanding service within their organization. The nomination should detail education, notable achievements with supporting evidence, including a statement from the nominating hotel’s General Manager.

    OUTSTANDING LODGING GENERAL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
    Recognizes a hotelier who has demonstrated superior leadership at the property, helping to grow the hotel’s brand, occupancy and revenue, alongside initiatives to support their team, community and industry. Any other significant achievements during their career to the hotel industry in any area of operation should be included.

    TOURISM CATEGORY

    This category includes museums, parks, attractions, historical sites and all cultural organizations, as well as retail and gift shop merchants and tour operators.

    OUTSTANDING TOURISM EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
    Recognizes a non-management employee (e.g. front-end associate, sales clerk, paid docent, etc.) who has exceeded expectations of their position, providing outstanding service to the property and guests. Details of their exemplary conduct and notable successes will assist the judges in their selection.


    OUTSTANDING TOURISM EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
    Presented to the president, chief executive officer or director that demonstrates excellence in leadership of the organization, including but not limited to growth in attendance, media attention, community involvement, or any other significant achievement that has positively impacted the organization and community.

    OUTSTANDING TOURISM INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
    This award is given to an initiative, event or festival that demonstrates best practice in all aspects of its operations and serves as model that others might follow. The initiative has a positive economic impact (food/beverage/lodging) as well as social impact (media attention), encouraging both residents and out-of-town visitation. Previous winners have included the Taste of Buffalo, Garden Walk Buffalo, Christa Glennie-Seychew/Culinary Tourism, the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway, Beer Tourism, Ice Bikes of Buffalo and last year's World's Largest Disco.

    OUTSTANDING TOURISM VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
    Recognizes the contribution a volunteer makes, whether at a site, an event, as a board member of a tourism-related organization or some other volunteer opportunity that benefits the tourism industry.

    RESTAURANTEUR/PUB OF THE YEAR
    Recognizes Erie County’s greatest ambassador in food and beverage! This award is presented to an individual, owner, manager, that delivers consistent quality and excellence in food and/or beverage, atmosphere, and service. They must be actively engaged and employed for a minimum of two years; demonstrate contributions of leadership, service, and involvement in the community and or civic affairs and deliver an overall memorable experience. TripAdvisor, Yelp, OpenTable or other reviews should be included.

    BRING IT HOME AWARD – SPORTS
    Recognizes an exceptional sports tourism initiative, game or event that shines a spotlight on the people and places behind the initiative that makes the WNY sport tourism industry so dynamic in Erie County. Economic impact, media attention, and collaborative efforts should all be included with this nomination.

    BRING IT HOME AWARD – CONVENTIONS
    Recognizes an individual, organization or group that was influential in bringing a meeting, convention or event to Erie County. The nomination should include economic impact, years the convention took or will take place in Erie County and any other accolades bestowed upon the event.



    BUFFALO AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
    This award goes to an individual whose success and influence leave a lasting impact on Erie County's hospitality and tourism industry. Buffalo Ambassadors are natural promoters; they embody attributes of friendliness, helpfulness and a can-do attitude whether through their volunteer efforts, philanthropy or willingness to pitch in and help Visit Buffalo Niagara find and bring new business to Buffalo.

    Questions? E-mail Cindy Kincaide or call 716-218-2943.