Professional Awards

Mangeot-Oaken Distinguished Service Award

The Mangeot-Oaken Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the Kentucky’s travel industry. The award is named for Daniel Mangeot and Mary Ray Oaken, industry icons whose commitment and leadership set the stage and the example for tourism leaders who came after them.

Past recipients are individuals who have dedicated their professional careers to developing, promoting, and protecting Kentucky's tourism industry. Among this group are entrepreneurs and statewide leaders. All have one common characteristic - dedication to "Making Tourism Work for Kentucky".

Selection Criteria:

  • Sustained and outstanding contributions to the growth and development of tourism in Kentucky

Selection Requirements:

  • KTIA member in good standing
  • Involvement/employed in Kentucky's travel industry for at least 10 years

Member of the Year

Each year the Kentucky travel industry encounters a variety of challenges and opportunities; and each year KTIA honors a member who stepped forward and provided exemplary service and leadership to the industry and association.

Selection Criteria:

  • Outstanding service and leadership contributions to KTIA throughout the year that furthered the interests of KTIA and the industry

Selection Requirements

  • KTIA Member in good standing
  • Attended KTIA meetings throughout the year

Emerging Leader of the Year

Formerly known as Rookie of the Year, this award honors a new member who in a relatively short time has made an impact with KTIA as well as his or her employer and local industry. 

Selection Criteria:

  • Active KTIA engagement and support (Examples: Program participation such as Certified Kentucky Tourism Professional, advocacy efforts, member recruitment, event attendance, etc.)
  • Secondarily, important contributions to employer and involvement in local travel industry

Selection Requirements:

  • KTIA member in good standing for 18 months or less prior to the deadline for submitting nominations (September 21, 2018)
  • Attended KTIA meetings and events throughout the year

Stars of the Industry

Among the most vital contributors to a visitor’s experience and satisfaction are the frontline professionals they encounter during their trip. These professionals are also essential to their employers’ success and that of the overall Kentucky travel industry. To acknowledge the essential nature of the frontline travel and tourism services provided by thousands of Kentuckians, KTIA is requesting nominations of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional frontline service. Stars of the Industry Awards will be presented to five deserving frontline service employees.  

Selection Criteria:

  • Exceptional guest/visitor service.

Selection Requirements:

  • Must be an employee of a KTIA member organization or business.
  • All frontline employees are eligible for nomination irrespective of the type of business or their job title as long as their primary duties bring them into direct service contact with visitors/guests. Examples include, but are not limited to hotel front desk clerks, visitor center hosts, restaurant wait staff, museum and other attraction docents and tour guides, car rental associates, etc. 

Nominating an Award Recipient

All nominations are due to Hank Phillips no later than 5:00 p.m. ET,  September 21, 2018.

Mangeot-Oaken, Member of the Year & Emerging Leader
Nominations must be in the form of a one page, single-spaced description of the individual’s qualifications for the award
  • Nominators should fully address the award criteria
  • Nominations are accepted from any KTIA member
  • A member may submit multiple nominations
Stars of the Industry
Nominations must be submitted on the Stars of the Industry Nomination Form. 
  • Nominations must be made by a person in a supervisory or management role and who has direct knowledge of the content and quality of the nominee’s work.
  • More than one nomination from the same company can be submitted.
  • It is strongly encouraged that recipients be present to accept their awards. Travel expenses will be the responsibility of the recipient’s employer. Conference registration fees will be waived for the recipient.
2018 Stars of the Industry Form


Contact Hank Phillips by email at [email protected] or by phone at 502.223.8687 with any questions.