Did you know the highest honor in Indiana's tourism industry is the Will Koch Indiana Tourism Leadership Award?
This award was established in 2011, in memory of our late president, who passed away suddenly in 2010. Will had been a leader in the tourism industry for so many years that our state's Lieutenant Governor's office and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development decided to create a special award.
And this year's recipient is John Livengood. He's pictured below (from left) with his wife, Leslie, daughter Kat, Lori Koch and Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann.
Quoting from a news release: He currently serves as president of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Hospitality and Tourism Foundation. Continuing the spirit of the award’s namesake, he has been a top advocate for the Indiana hospitality and tourism industry throughout his career.
I joked that it looks like they gave John a flatscreen TV for his upcoming retirement. Indeed, if you look closely you'll see one of Will's signatures - a roller coaster - etched in the "screen."
And John kidded that although he greatly enjoyed working with Will over the years, "the only time I told him 'no' was when he asked me to ride his roller coasters with him."
Here's the video that was shown at the award presentation:
Thank you, John, for your dedication to Indiana Tourism. We're all better because of it.