WASHINGTON (March 3, 2016) - The U.S. Travel Association Monday bestowed Julie Heizer of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Travel and Tourism Office and the team at the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, led by Annette Rummel, Ph.D., with Distinguished Partner awards for their efforts to bolster travel to and across America.

U.S. Travel recognized the Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB, led by President and CEO Annette Rummel, Ph.D., as this year's Grassroots Travel Champion for their prioritization of advocacy efforts in 2015. Annette began the year by constructing an advocacy toolkit for Michigan travel leaders to help them engage with political leaders on important travel and tourism issues. The CVB also spearheaded three separate Travel Talks events with Michigan Congressional leaders in 2015, helping introduce them to the travel workers whose jobs depend on tourism while discussing our industry's top legislative proposals.

U.S. Travel will present the awards on March 16 at the association's Destination Capitol Hill-the travel and tourism industry's premier fly-in event dedicated to educating policymakers about the power of travel, providing a forum for travel leaders to meet with members of Congress in Washington and showcasing the industry as one of America's strongest economic sectors.




"In 2015, the team at the Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB stood out for their passionate leadership at the local level," said Dow. "Annette Rummel has shrewdly and strategically strengthened her organization's relationships with lawmakers, and shone in her efforts to show political leaders how vital travel and tourism is at every level of Michigan's economy. I can think of no group more deserving of this year's Grassroots Travel Champion award."

Learn more about U.S. Travel's Distinguished Partner awards here.

Learn more about Destination Capitol Hill here.