FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAINE INNKEEPERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS AT THEIR 91ST ANNUAL MEETING AND CONFERENCE Freeport Maine November 25 2012……Innkeepers from all over the state gathered for the 91st Maine Innkeepers Association Annual Meeting and Conference held at the Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center in Newry Maine on November 5 and 6 2012 announced Greg Dugal MEIA Executive Director. The 2012 Annual MEIA Awards were presented to five outstanding members of the tourism industry who had greatly contributed to the lodging/hospitality and tourism industry in the state. • Innkeeper of the Year: Woody Woodward of Highland Lake Resort received the prestigious Innkeeper of the Year award from Peter Daigle of Lafayette Hotels. This award annually recognizes an active Innkeeper who has significantly contributed to the development of the Maine Innkeepers Association. Woodward has worked as a deputy sheriff police officer owner of a promotional marketing and events agency and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation of Maine. Woodward’s career in the lodging industry began in 1997 when he and his wife Deanna became Innkeeper/Owners of Highland Lake Resort. Woodward has served on the Maine Innkeepers Association (MEIA) Board of Directors for almost ten years and served as President in 2010 and 2011. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board and is Treasurer of the MEIA Education Foundation. • Special Service Award: Vaughn Stinson Chief Executive Officer of the Maine Tourism Association accepted the Special Service Award from MEIA Executive Director Greg Dugal. This annual award is made to a person who has actively contributed to the hospitality industry as a whole. Stinson worked with Delta Airlines and as Director of Tourism for the State of Mississippi before taking over as Chief Operating Officer for the Maine Tourism Association. Under his leadership the organization has become a highly successful tourism marketing and advocacy leader for the state. • Hall of Fame: John “Jack” Gibbons a past owner of Fisherman’s Wharf Inn Argo Cruises and the Boothbay Whale Watch in Boothbay Harbor was honored posthumously. The Hall of Fame award was accepted on his behalf by Laura Honey a long time friend of Gibbons from Bob Smith of Sebasco Harbor Resort. This annual award is presented to a retired tourism professional who over a period of ten years or more contributed though personal involvement and interest to the betterment of the Association and the lodging/hospitality/tourism industry in the State of Maine. Gibbons was remembered for his decades of hospitality on the waterfront in Boothbay Harbor and for his great love of golf. • Community Service Award: Katy Kelly of Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort in Wells accepted the award from Peter Daigle of Lafayette Hotels. The Community Service Award is presented to lodging operators who have taken part in community activities and have made a contribution personally or in the name of the industry or property to the community. Kelly was recently promoted to President of Lafayette Hotels after being a regional manager overseeing hotels in Southern Maine and New Hampshire for several years. Kelly began her career with Lafayette Hotels in 1989 and has managed Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort in Wells since 1997. Kelly managed several other properties during her career including the Black Bear Inn and Merry Manor and was an active member of the board of Save Our Shores. • Allied Member of the Year: John McCarthy of Legacy Properties- Sotheby International Realty accepted the Allied Member of the Year Award presented annually to an allied member of MEIA that is active in the hospitality industry and has made a significant contribution to it on behalf of the supplier community. McCarthy has a background in hospitality as his family owned Smuggler’s Cove Inn in East Boothbay Harbor. McCarthy works with Legacy Properties in Brunswick and is a member of Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA) and Maine Commercial Realtors. About the Maine Innkeepers Association The Maine Innkeepers Association a leading provider of tourism information to both Maine’s lodging industry and its visitors represents nearly 700 B&Bs camps cottages hotels inns motels and resorts across Maine and their suppliers. Through communication education promotion and government affairs the Association helps its members achieve prosperity and deliver a quality product to the consumer. Maine Innkeepers Association is located in Freeport ME and can also be found at