The nominees for the 2014 Henry Awards have been announced, with several cities and groups from the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas areas making the list.
The celebration, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in Arkansas, will take place at the Governor’s Banquet on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. The award ceremony will mark the conclusion of the 40th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, being held at the John Q. Hammonds Convention Center in Rogers.
The Henry Awards honor Henri de Tonti, the 17th century explorer considered one of the first “Arkansas Travelers.” The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism recognizes outstanding efforts in eight categories each year.
The Media Support Award, presented to a distinguished individual or organization for extraordinary attention to and/or support of Arkansas’s tourism industry through the use of media:
• KY3 TV, Springfield, Mo.
• Paula Morell, North Little Rock
• Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith
The Bootstrap Award, presented to an individual, organization, or community that has achieved significant success “on a shoestring,” having limited means to work with, either in resources or finances.
• Altus Veterans Memorial
• Eureka Springs Historical Museum
• Miller’s Mud Mill, Dumas
The Arkansas Heritage Award, presented to an individual, organization, or community that has made a significant contribution toward the preservation of some aspect of Arkansas’s natural, cultural, or aesthetic legacy.
• Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock
• Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, North Little Rock
• Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail
The Grand Old Classic Special Event Award, presented to a festival, fair, or other special celebration which has “stood the test of time” and become an established example to follow.
• Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends, Pine Bluff
• Frisco Festival, Rogers
• Old Fashioned Square Gathering, Ozark
The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, presented to a community, individual, or organization that, through outstanding volunteer spirit, has made a substantial contribution to Arkansas’s tourism industry.
• Central Arkansas Master Naturalists, Little Rock
• Garland County Historical Society, Hot Springs
• Twyla Gill Wright, Batesville
The Community Tourism Development Award, presented to an individual or organization which has achieved substantial success in the enhancement of its local resources through imaginative and innovative development efforts.
• Eureka Springs Arts Council
• Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau
• SoMa District, Little Rock
The Natural State Award, presented to a community, organization, special event, or attraction which “stands out in the crowd” because of its unique appeal, media coverage, creative approach, and/or enhancement of community pride, thus benefiting the state’s quality of life.
• Grant County Museum, Sheridan
• Terra Studios, Fayetteville
• Wakarusa Music Festival, Ozark
The Tourism Special Achievement Award, presented to an individual or organization that has contributed to the tourism industry through leadership “above and beyond” the normal requirements of their jobs.
• Andy Thomas, Russellville
• Joe Harper, Heber Springs
• The Johnny Cash Music Festival, Jonesboro
During the ceremony, the Tourism Person of the Year will be announced, along with inductees into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame. Selected by former honorees, the Tourism Person of the Year award is presented annually to an individual who has been actively involved in tourism and who has made a substantial contribution, within the past year, to the industry as a whole. Individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made sizeable contributions to the betterment of the industry are considered for induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame.