Visit Tulsa Honors Local Heroes for Visitors

TOP HONORS: VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Hotel & Lodging Association recently recognized local citizens who have made a positive impact in the Tulsa area over the last year. From left are Michael Frimel, THLA president and general manager of The Ambassador Hotel; Claire Combs, accepting on behalf of Matt Swanson and Hilti; Pat Kroblin, PK Promotions; Harvey Johnson, Central State Shrine Association; and Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission.

Courtesy VisitTulsa

VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Hotel & Lodging Association recognized local citizens who are impacting the local economy by bringing meetings and events to Tulsa and top-performing hospitality professionals at a luncheon presented by Scissortail at the DoubleTree Hotel Downtown.

Now in its 19th year, the Local Heroes and Tops in Tulsa Luncheon is held annually in conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week, a week devoted to recognizing the significance travel and tourism have on the local and national economies. In fact, according to the Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. study conducted by PwC US released in February, 1.8 million meetings, trade shows, conventions and incentive events and other meetings take place across the country each year directly supporting 1.7 million jobs, a $106 billion contribution to the , $263 billion in direct spending, $60 billion in labor revenue, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Locally, Tulsa receives $1.28 billion in expenditures from visitors and supports more than 23,000 jobs.

The Local Heroes program remains an important part of VisitTulsa’s recruitment efforts for future convention and meetings business. This year, VisitTulsa honored six local citizens who, by working to place their group’s meeting in Tulsa, will impact the future economy of the city with more than $3 million in delegate/attendee expenditures.

Honorees and their organizations include: Eastern Area Service Committee, Circle of Sisters; Karen Gibson, Mid-Continent Kennel Club; Harvey Johnson, Central States Shrine Association; Pat Kroblin, PK Promotions; Karen McMahon, The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society; and Matt Swanson, Hilti.

“We look forward to this event each year and the opportunity to thank individuals who give back to their community in a very big way,” says Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa. “The meetings and conventions business is big business and our sales staff works hard to earn our fair share of it, but engaging citizens in these efforts is a huge help. We encourage all Tulsans to consider what meetings, events and conventions Tulsa could host and help us go after that business.”

Last year, at the luncheon, VisitTulsa announced the “Bring It Home” campaign to encourage more citizens to take a cue from the event honorees in recommending Tulsa as a site for their national meetings and events.

Since the launch of the campaign, VisitTulsa has followed up on 105 leads, secured nine new meetings/conventions, and have five pending s that could result in nearly 2.8 million dollars in economic impact to the city.

To learn more about the campaign, or submit details about a possible event or group to bring to Tulsa log on to

Also recognized were the top five hotel employees, as nominated by their peers and managers. The “Tops in Tulsa Award” winners were announced live at the luncheon, and received cash prizes in recognition of their dedication and professionalism in the industry.

“THLA is proud to work with VisitTulsa in attracting and winning conventions and events that bring millions of dollars to our city,” says Michael Frimel, president of the board of . “The Local Heroes and Tops in Tulsa awards honor those individuals who are instrumental in showcasing Tulsa, securing contracts and delivering Tulsa’s warm hospitality to our thousands of visitors each year.”

Updated 06-18-2011

Back to Top


email (we never post emails)
  Textile Help

Back to Top

Contact GTR News