CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA --The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB) presented its 2013 Tourism Achievement Award (formerly "Tourism Person of the Year Award) to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. for being the lead organization and initiator for the Presidents Passport partnership. The award was presented at an evening reception at Trump Winery in Charlottesville in celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week.

"The Presidents Passport is an innovative partnership involving over fifty local tourism-related organizations," said Kurt Burkhart, CACVB Executive Director. "The leaders at Monticello were instrumental in making this program possible, and we are delighted to present them with this well-deserved award." Filled with insider travel tips and special offers from an array of local tourism partners, the Presidents Passport leads visitors on a journey through the Charlottesville region, which is not only known for its unique beauty and vibrant culture, but also its history.

The annual tourism reception and award presentation allows the hospitality community the opportunity to celebrate the collaborative efforts of the local tourism industry while acknowledging the efforts of one particular individual or group who has shown great leadership through their commitment to tourism in our region.

Past years' Tourism Achievement Award winners include:

2012 Monticello Artisan Trail

2011 Bob Stroh, Downtown Business Association

2010 Gary O'Connell, Albemarle County Service Authority

2009 Leonard Sandridge, University of Virginia

2008 Michael Quinn, Montpelier

2007 Richard Herskowitz, Formerly of Virginia Film Festival

2006 Greg MacDonald, Michie Tavern

2005 Felicia Rogen, Virginia Wines (Oakencroft)

2004 Nancy Damon, Virginia Festival of the Book

2003 Kat Imhoff, Formerly of Monticello

2002 Bryan Elliott, CHO - Regional Airport

2001 Bobbie Cochran, Formerly of CACVB

2000 Helen Driver, Wintergreen Resort

1999 Patricia Kluge, Virginia Film Festival

1998 Susan Allen, Former First Lady of Virginia

1997 Forrest Marshall, Former Board of Supervisors Chair, Albemarle County

1996 Dan Jordan, Monticello

This year also marked the second year of a new tradition; individuals working in the local tourism industry were recognized for their commitment and excellence in customer service in the following categories:
- Best Server: Restaurant, Bistro, Café, Lounge or Pub - Audrey Jeffries, Fellini's # 9
- Best Chef - Angelo Vangelopoulos, The Ivy Inn Restaurant
- Best Customer Service: Attractions - KarenMarie "Katie" Beazley, Charlottesville Parking Center
- Best Customer Service: Transportation Services - William "Bill" Kerr, Camryn Limousine Service - Best Customer Service: Lodging - Joyce Kaswandik, Guesthouse Reservation Services (Joyce is receiving this award for the second year in a row.)

In tourism and hospitality, a business's success is realized in large measure by the direct contact a person has with someone who is usually on the front-line or who provides customer service. National Tourism Week is the perfect opportunity to recognize some very special people in our community who have provided a memorable experience for visitors and local patrons. Winners of the above awards were selected through a public vote, which took place April 2nd through the 20th.

Last but not least, the CACVB presented the Piedmont Council for the Arts with its New Horizons Award, recognizing PCA's leadership in developing Create Charlottesville, a community-based cultural plan, currently being designed with the goal of enhancing quality of life and creating economic development initiatives.