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Ruth Ann Hanson, Chamber Area Director
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Lisa Paxton recognized as Outstanding Individual in Tourism

Monday, January 31, 2011

During the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, several organizations, businesses and individuals were recognized for their contributions to the state’s travel industry.

John Edman, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, was pleased to announce Lisa Paxton, chief executive officer of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, as the “Outstanding Individual in Tourism” for her long-term work on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry at the community, regional and state levels. Paxton has served on the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council since 2004 and currently is the chair of the council's public policy committee. She has also served as president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives. Paxton was also a catalyst for the unique public/private partnership that developed the Highway 371 Welcome Center and was recognized for her experience in several tourism positions in the Brainerd area.

Chamber Board Director Tom Kavanaugh, of Kavanaughs Resort, said, "Lisa has been a great asset to tourism throughout the Brainerd Lakes area and has worked very hard in assisting our industry at the state level and working with Explore Minnesota Tourism on issues that affect tourism throughout the state. It is, and has been a pleasure working with Lisa on tourism issues and I have always found her to be someone that gets things done and understands how critical tourism is to our area and the state's well being"

The Lodge on Lake Detroit received a “Sustainable Tourism Award” in recognition of their environmentally friendly practices.

Awards are also given annually to note creative, successful tourism marketing programs by Minnesota communities. Recipients of this year’s Travel Marketing Awards of Excellence included the Ely Chamber of Commerce and Visit Duluth. Marketing Awards of Merit were presented to Destination Bloomington and the Caledonia Area Convention and Tourism Bureau.

As the state's tourism office, Explore Minnesota Tourism pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota Tourism with tourism businesses and organizations.

Tourism is an $11 billion industry in Minnesota, a key sector of the state’s economy. The leisure and hospitality industry, a major provider of tourism services, employs more than 243,000 Minnesotans.

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