FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381
Zenovia Stephens of Huntsville Named Top North Alabama Ambassador of the Year
Decatur, Ala. (September 24, 2020) - The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) has named Zenovia Stephens of Huntsville the Top North Alabama Ambassador of the Year. The award is among 11 that comprise the 2020 PEAK Awards that were presented today at the AMLA Annual Meeting at 210 At The Tracks in Gadsden, Ala.
Representing the highest achievement in North Alabama tourism, the PEAK Awards honor individuals, events and organizations that have had a major impact on tourism in North Alabama. The award recognizes the work and achievements of the top performing North Alabama Ambassador for 2020. Launched in 2019, the North Alabama Ambassadors program is an online influencer program where bloggers and content creators produce compelling material highlighting north Alabama. These enthusiasts work with AMLA to help inspire and motivate other outdoor fans to visit North Alabama through social media, the AMLA blog and on the ground in their communities.
Originally from Chicago and now residing in Huntsville, Stephens (@blackadventurecrew) began the year with a focus on encouraging other Black families to get outdoors. Through her efforts, she was featured on Kelly & Ryan’s Good News of the Day segment, WAFF did a story on her family’s adventures, Outdoor Retailer Magazine recognized her in its Black Excellence edition, Backpacker.com and Blackoute.com featured her story, and she was featured on PBS’s America’s Portrait. She, along with other bloggers across the country, created #BlackHikersWeek, a movement encouraging Black families to get outdoors. She has also created Black Kids Adventures and has been leading yoga in the park and hosting virtual hikes. She writes blogs for AMLA’s website, the Huntsville CVB and Our Valley Events. She and her husband have three small boys, and they love exploring as much as they love inspiring.
“The PEAK Awards showcase the work, service, creativity and contributions of those who are leading the way in the North Alabama tourism industry,” said Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association President/CEO Tami Reist. “With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, it has been and continues to be a challenging year for the tourism industry. This year’s winners have demonstrated a commitment like no other to showcase the best of North Alabama during these unprecedented times. It is a well-deserved win for each of the recipients.”
Full list of winners:
Organization of the Year
The Organization of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member organization that has contributed significantly to the betterment and development of tourism in North Alabama in the past year.
Winner: Land Trust of North Alabama
Event of the Year
The Event of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member special event or festival that has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.
Winner: Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration
Attraction of the Year
The Attraction of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member attraction that has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.
Winner: Cook Museum of Natural Science
Good Neighbor Award
The “Good Neighbor” Friend of Tourism Award is presented to a person or organization whose body of work has had a significant impact on tourism in the past year.
Winner: Philip Formby, operations director, Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheatre
Northern Star Award
The Northern Star Award is presented to an individual, such as a ranger, guide and a front line employee, who has gone “above and beyond” expectations.
Winner: Haley Newton, facilities operator, Joe Wheeler State Park
Young Professional of the Year Award
The Young Professional of the Year “Green Apple Award” is awarded to a person who has been in the tourism business less than seven years and has exhibited extraordinary leadership skills and initiative associated with their position.
Winner: Maryanne Floyd, communications director, Decatur Morgan County Tourism
Tourism Professional of the Year
The Tourism Professional of the Year award is presented to an individual or employee of an AMLA member organization who has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.
Winner: Pete Doyle, general manager, Holiday Inn Research Park
Lasting Impression Award
The Lasting Impression Award is presented to an attraction, event, person or organization that has provided a “lasting impression” on tourists thereby improving the overall image of tourism in North Alabama.
Winner: Scotty Kennedy, curator, Red Bay Museum
The Chairman’s Cup Award is given annually to a travel writer or media person who has over time demonstrated support of AMLA, the region and its tourism activities.
Winner: Fred Hunter, Absolutely Alabama
The President’s Award is presented to any person or organization whose tourism-related project created awareness or presented a positive image for North Alabama in the past year.
Winners: Hilda Smith, director of sales and events, Hampton Inn by Hilton, Winfield, Ala.
Jana Kuner, public relations and customer service manager, Huntsville International Airport
Mindy Hanan, president/CEO, Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association
Top North Alabama Ambassador of the Year
The award recognizes the work and achievements of the top performing North Alabama Ambassador in 2020.
Winner: Zenovia Stephens, Huntsville, Ala. (@blackadventurecrew)
Images of award recipients are available upon request by calling AMLA at 800.648.5381 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting www.NorthAlabama.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @VisitNorthAL and like us at www.facebook.com/VisitNorthAL.