Posted: Feb 02, 2017

Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association Announces Industry Champions

PHOENIX, AZ (February 2, 2017) - Today the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) announced five exemplary industry champions will be recognized at the 2017 Arizona Tourism Unity Dinner to be held at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa on February 23rd. Each honoree has demonstrated extraordinary efforts to enhance the Arizona business climate, ensure a level and legal operating environment, and promote our great state on the national and international levels.

AzLTA hosts the annual awards dinner to recognize the best-of-the-best in the Arizona lodging and tourism industry, honoring those who have made remarkable contributions in support of our business community. The 2017 Unity Dinner will recognize:

  • Honoree of the Year - U.S. Senator Jeff Flake
  • Advocate of the Year - Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • President & CEO Glenn Hamer
  • Hotelier of the Year - Best Western International President & CEO David Kong
  • Allied Tourism Partner of the Year - Young's Market Company
  • Tourism Legacy Partner of the Year - Arizona Tourism & Sports Authority
  • President & CEO Tom Sadler

"Each of these five leaders has been a staunch advocate for this vital Arizona industry which has a positive economic impact in all 15 counties throughout our great state," said Kim Sabow, President and CEO of AzLTA. "We are incredibly grateful for the leadership, dedication and support each honoree has demonstrated in advancing this $22 billion economic engine for the State of Arizona." This year's signature honoree is U.S. Senator Jeff Flake. When the concerns of business owners and operators hit hard by more than 1,700 frivolous lawsuits filed in Arizona were brought to his attention, Senator Flake visited with businesses impacted to understand first-hand the significance of the issue, then reacted by introducing a Senate Bill which would allow for a "report and cure" period in Federal ADA law. In addition, Senator Flake has been a long-time steward of protecting Arizona's pristine deserts and forests, an enviable asset unique to attracting visitors to our great state.

Upholding the priorities of the business community across our state has been priority one for the AzLTA Advocate of the Year, Glenn Hamer, President & CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry. In 2016, he carried the torch for the business community's position on three major state propositions. At the core of each was a shared priority to enhance education, the talent pipeline and our business climate as well as protect the high quality of life in Arizona.

Arizona is the global headquarters for Best Western International, where President and CEO David Kong prioritizes his time with a focus on the operating environment critical to hoteliers. His leadership and action has been critical to protecting the industry against global, national and state policies which threaten a fair, level and legal competitive ecosystem within the lodging industry.

Young's Market Company is a valiant advocate in safeguarding alcohol sales and distribution in Arizona. The company leads collaboration among its competition in support of protecting consumers, upholding responsible laws, and enhancing this important segment of the industry in our State.

Behind the scenes of the triple-play home run of mega-events shining a spotlight on Arizona is the Arizona Sports and Tourism Association (AZSTA) and its President and CEO Tom Sadler. The upcoming NCAA Final Four, the College Football National Championship game and the SuperBowl result in remarkable economic impact, and combine with the rare and unique opportunity to promote our state to the world. In addition, AZSTA protects the integrity of Arizona's Prop. 302, ensuring our Cactus League and tourism industry are properly funded.

The 2017 Unity Dinner will be held February 23, 2017, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale beginning with a reception and silent auction at 5:00 p.m. followed by the dinner and program at 6:00 p.m. Join us to celebrate these five industry champions, elected officials and lodging and tourism business leaders across Arizona by registering at

About Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority

Formed as a result of voter approval of Prop. 302 in November 2000, AZSTA is responsible for owning and operating State Farm Stadium; funding tourism promotion in Maricopa County; funding the construction and renovation of Cactus League Spring Training facilities; and funding youth and amateur sports projects and programs. For more information about the Youth & Amateur Sports Grant Program, please contact AZSTA at 623.433.7500 or visit:
Kristen Pflipsen
Bagnato Pflipsen Communications
Andrew Bagnato
Bagnato Pflipsen Communications