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Feb.15 - An Evening for Hospitality: TLC Bestows Honors, Awards Scholarships Staff Report


A celebration of Savannah’s hospitality industry drew several hundred guests last Thurs. night to the Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council’s 12thannual Awards and Scholarship Dinner at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto.


In recognition of the organization’s support for educating and training future hospitality leaders, the TLC presented a trio of scholarships to area students, as well.


The evening capped with a surprised Jody McIntyre, marketing director of the Savannah Marriott Riverfront, receiving the TLC Member of the Year Award for contributions and dedication to the tourism organization. The winner’s identity remained a secret until the announcement of the award.


“A total surprise,” McIntyre said the day after winning the award. She began her hospitality career in Savannah with the Sheraton and has been with her current hotel for 19 years, including in its earlier incarnation as a Radisson.


The TLC also honored Stratton and Mary Leopold, owners of Leopold’s Ice Cream, with the Franklin Traub Visionary Award.  Mr. Leopold, a Hollywood movie producer, opened the Broughton St. shop several years ago to fulfill a long-held dream to resurrect the Savannah ice cream parlor started by his parents.


The tourism and hospitality business organization also presented business and community activist Steve Green, president & CEO of Stephen Green Properties, with the John P. Rousakis Community Champion Award.


Green, out of town on business, spoke to the gathering via video, thanking TLC members for their roles in keeping Savannah’s economy going.


Kathy Massey of Savor Savannah Catering by SMG, received the Service Leader Award. 


The Service Star Award went to Maybelle Monroe of the Hyatt Regency Savannah.  Both service awards recognize exemplary job performance in the hospitality industry. 


This year, three $1,000 scholarships went to Meredith Brewer of the University of South Carolina – Beaufort, Benita McIver-Milligan of Savannah Technical College and Stephanie Thompson of Georgia Southern University.


 “Developing the workforce for our industry needs to start at a young age,” said TLC Director Marti Barrow. “Through the TLC Scholarship program, we are able to contribute to the education of several very deserving students.”

The evening included a cocktail reception featuring the event’s first ever Celebration of Savannah Artists Art Fair. Some of the proceeds from the Art Fair will go to programs of the TLC, according to Barrow.




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