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Weiss Lake Guide Lee Pitts Honored with “Good Neighbor” Friend of Tourism Award 

Weiss Lake Guide Lee Pitts Honored with “Good Neighbor” Friend of Tourism Award 

Decatur, Ala. (September 23, 2021) – The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) has honored Lee Pitts with the 2021 “Good Neighbor” Friend of Tourism Award. The award is among 12 that comprise the 2021 PEAK Awards that were presented today at the AMLA Annual Meeting at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Ala.

Representing the highest achievement in North Alabama tourism, the PEAK Awards honor individuals and organizations that have had a major impact on tourism in North Alabama. 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. 

Considered one of the best Weiss Lake guides in the state of Alabama, Pitts has been offering guided trips and professional instruction in a wide range of fishing methods for nearly 20 years. He also competes in the pro divisions of several tournament trails. In addition to his fishing career, he is involved in the Cherokee County 4-H chapter where he teaches kids about fishing and the outdoors. He is also active in the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and helps promote the area at various travel, fishing and hunting shows, and in the past, he has been a big supporter of the Chamber’s annual Take A Kid Fishing tournament.  

“The PEAK Awards recognize the best of North Alabama’s tourism and travel industry, and this year’s nominees and winners have all done an exemplary job in delivering an exceptional visitor experience,” said AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist. “With the COVID-19 pandemic still in the forefront, it continues to be challenging times for our industry and I want to take this time to celebrate our local tourism leaders, attractions, festivals and front-line workers who all work tirelessly during these unprecedented times.”  

The full list of awards and winners is as follows:

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:  Athens Main Street

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:  Piney Chapel Farm Heritage Days

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:  Cathedral Caverns State Park

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:  Lee Pitts, Pitts Outdoors 

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:  Katrina Cope, Holiday Inn Express (Gadsden)

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:  Haley Rutland, Marshall County Tourism and Sports

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: Anna Mullican, Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center and 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:  Lucy Orr, Downtown Turtle Trail (Decatur)

Chairman’s Cup 

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:  Connie Pearson, travel writer and blogger 

President’s Award

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:  K.R. Yedla, Ph.D., chairman and founder, Yedla Management Company

                   Senator Tom Butler

                   Ewell Smith, volunteer, Athens, Ala.

It Only Takes A Spark Award 

The award recognizes an individual or organization who is igniting change and making a positive impact on the tourism industry in North Alabama through their initiative, creativity and spirit.

Winner:  Rocket City Trash Pandas

Top North Alabama Ambassador of the Year

The award recognizes the work and achievements of the top performing North Alabama Ambassador in the past year.

Winner:  Cody Hood, Addison, Ala. (@ensaneoutdoors)

Images of award recipients are available upon request by calling AMLA at 800.648.5381 or by sending an email to angie@northalabama.org. 

 

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