By MARY STARR
People from throughout the community put on their glad rags recently and paid tribute to Glynn County’s hospitality industry, which generates millions of dollars each year for the local economy.
The second annual Golden Isles Hospitality Celebration feted individuals and groups with a gala dinner at The Cloister Ballroom on Sea Island, an awards ceremony and live entertainment. A pre-dinner cocktail hour was also held for attendees.
Emceed by former Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson ably assisted by award presenters Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey and Glynn County Commission Chairman Mike Browning, the awards included:
• Creative Expression Award – Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, accepted by Kevin Baker, director of sales and marketing at The Westin Jekyll Island, and Shawn Kinnear, director of catering and events at The Westin Jekyll Island.
• Rising Star Award – Tom Hemmings, fitness supervisor, Sea Island.
• Best Impression Award – Stacia Hendricks, naturalist manager, Little St. Simons Island.
• Community Spirit Award – Charles Norman, senior courtesy representative, Glynn County Airport Commission.
• Behind the Scenes Award – Richard Van Iderstyne, Jekyll Island Airport, Red Bug Motors and Red Bug Pizza.
• Shared Vision Award — Coastal Georgia Historical Society, for their work on establishing the new World War II Home Front Museum at the Old St. Simons Coast Guard Station.
• Partner of the Year Award – 1% Program, St. Simons Land Trust. This program raises funds through participating businesses collecting a voluntary 1 percent donation on the gross sales before taxes of products and services from their customers.
• Lifetime Achievement Award – Merry Tipton, director of marketing communications, Sea Island.
• Community Champion Award – Woody Woodside, Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce. — Photos by Mary Starr & Taylor Cooper