Don was recognized with a newly titled award for Tourism Industry Leader of the Year for 2022.
For the 16 years he has been in Ashland, Don has served with the Chamber in numerous areas for the improvement of the community and especially for tourism. He has served on the Travel Ashland committee and as Chair, on the Chamber Board, and as an Oregon Tourism commissioner for Travel Oregon the past eight years recently retiring from that role. He has gone above and beyond and worked hand-in-hand with us on developing our tourism marketing, participated with every effort to garner more helpful research on smoke impacts on travel that we did in the past to the recent in-depth visitor analysis to the Travel Ashland rebrand in 2012 and our latest rebrand this past January of 2022.
He served on the Steering Committee for the Chamber's most recent large Economic Diversification Study and will continue to serve on that committee as well as Chair of an important Downtown Pillar Action Task Force. He always says yes when asked to collaborate in hosting industry and Travel Writers and with his team foster the return and growth of group travel and weddings.
He is a Leader in growth of his properties’ expansion, community collaboration and a successful convention center here in Ashland. He was there on that fateful day at the farmer’s market at a pie baking competition when he said, maybe we should have a chef competition? That idea turned into a 14 year span of a destination event that produced 4 iron chef Oregon winners, recognized the talent and creativity of our mixologists, chefs, junior chefs, restauranteurs, food artisans and wineries. and helped to put Ashland on the map for our culinary and wine offerings. It takes people to make things work – people who show up and make a difference. Congratulations Don!