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AML, ISA are Iowa Tourism Champions

The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission awarded 11 Champion Awards to local individuals or businesses, as well as three Visitor Choice Awards to local organizations, earlier this week at the Annual Celebration at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. 

Individuals and organizations were recognized for their commitment to the community through partnerships with Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau/Des Moines Area Sports Commission staff, clients and partners from July 2013 to June 2014. These locals were celebrated for championing tourism. 

Association Management, Ltd. (AML) and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) were recognized as the Catch National Events Champions. 

Back in May, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, AML and ISA partnered together to host the Association Management Companies (AMCs) Regional Forum and Iowa Experience. The educational and networking event brought 50 AMCs from across the U.S. and Canada, representing more than 200 professional associations throughout North America. 

“We were pleased to host our industry peers for this very unique two-day Iowa experience,” said Molly Lopez, CAE, president of Association Management, Ltd. “Our visitors had the opportunity to learn from a national speaker, experience the pulse of Greater Des Moines and enjoy genuine hospitality at an Iowa farm.” 

Notable opportunities the attendees experienced included:

  • · Iowa barbeque and farm-to-table education at the Ron Heck Family Farm through the Iowa Soybean Association.
  • · Community outreach project with Meals from the Heartland and the Iowa Food and Family Project.
  • · Speaker John Spence, one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America.
  • · Staying at the Hotel Pattee, with a rich tradition and exceptional service, located in Perry. 

The mini-conference was a first of its kind. The buzz surrounding the event garnered AMC Institute’s endorsement, providing continuing education credits for certified association executives (CAE), and stating the inaugural event may be a model for future opportunities. The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored the event, along with Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, and Alberta, Canada convention and visitors bureaus. 

Other organizations recognized at the Annual Celebration included: 

Champion Award Winners

  • · Advocacy Champion – Suzie Glazer Burt
  • · Catch Champion – Suku Radia, Bankers Trust
  • · Civic Champion – Senator Matt McCoy
  • · Community Champion – Jay Byers, Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • · Corporate Champion – Wells Fargo Bank
  • · CVB Champion – Terry McLane
  • · Media Champion – KCWI 23
  • · Partner Champion – Catering DSM/Dos Rios Cantina & Tequila Lounge
  • · Sports Champions – Vernon Delpesce, YMCA of Greater Des Moines
  • · Volunteer Champion – Jim Thorp, National Junior High Finals Rodeo 

Visitor Choice Awards – Determined by visitor vote

  • · Attraction of the Year – Knoxville Raceway
  • · Hotel of the Year – Hotel Pattee
  • · Restaurant of the Year – Baratta’s


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