TravelNevada honors Northern Nevadans for ‘voluntourism’ work

The Nevada Division of Tourism (TravelNevada) honored individuals and organizations for their dedication to the state’s tourism industry at the VolunTourism Awards Dinner April 12 in Tonopah.

Northern Nevada award winners are as follows:

Excellence in Tourism Award, Cowboy Country Territory: Kerrie Supanich has worked in tourism at West Wendover and has participated in several travel trade and consumer shows on behalf of Cowboy Country, including the Go West Summit in Salt Lake City earlier this year. Cowboy Country promotes tourism in northern Nevada along the Interstate 80 corridor.

Excellence in Tourism Award, Nevada Indian Territory: Michon Eben is involved with Nevada Indian Territory, which promotes cultural tourism throughout the state. She has coordinated cultural tours, as well as developed and curated exhibits highlighting the artists and veterans of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. Eben also is working to preserve historical photos and documents through digitalization and works with the Artown festival in Reno to ensure a Native American presence at the event.

Excellence in Tourism Award, Pony Express Territory: Jane Moon, director of tourism and visitor events for the city of Fallon, was recognized by Pony Express Territory, which promotes visitation along the U.S. 50 corridor. Moon was commended for her volunteer efforts with many community groups, as well as her work with the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority.

Excellence in Tourism Award, Reno-Tahoe Territory: The Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority, formerly the Carson City Visitors Bureau, was recognized for its work to rebrand the community as a destination for outdoor recreation, arts and culture, farm-to-fork dining and special events. Sue Barton, chairwoman of Reno-Tahoe Territory, which promotes tourism in the Reno-Tahoe area, presented the award.

Statewide Excellence in Grants Award: Ed Spear, president of the Grand Circle Association (promoting the American Southwest) and former chairman of Pony Express Territory, was recognized for his skill as a grant writer. He has used that skill to secure grants for various tourism entities, including Pony Express Territory. Kari Frilot, who handles TravelNevada’s grants programs, praised Spear’s scrupulous adherence to rules and guidelines.

Statewide Excellence in Tourism Award (2 winners):

• Don Newman, executive director of the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority, represents rural communities on the Nevada Commission on Tourism, the entity that advises TravelNevada. Newman has served on such committees as the Nevada 150th Anniversary Commission and was instrumental in the state’s acquisition of the Sesquicentennial Saddle, a handcrafted artisan saddle created by J.M. Capriola and on display at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.

• Bob Perchetti, Tonopah resident and Nevada tourism advocate, was recognized with a special proclamation for his service to the industry and his community. Perchetti grew up in Tonopah and owned several businesses over the years, most recently the Clown Motel, known for its quirky collection of clown dolls in the lobby. Perchetti helped start Jim Butler Days, Tonopah’s signature event; worked as the director of the Tonopah Convention Center; and served on the Nevada Commission on Tourism, among other achievements.


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