ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Inspired by the Oscar®-nominated Steven Spielberg blockbuster film, Lincoln, the Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) is rolling out the red carpet for the state’s brightest stars in its first ever ‘Lincoln Awards.’ The recipients are those “behind the scenes stars” that go above and beyond for the Illinois tourism industry. The awards will be presented during a special program at the upcoming Excellence in Tourism Awards on February 27.
Rockford’s own Rick Nielsen is nominated for Best Picture in Illinois. In addition to his international success with Cheap Trick, Nielsen most recently was the subject and brainchild behind the ‘Rick’s Picks: A Lifelong Affair with Guitars and Music’ exhibit currently on display at Rockford’s Burpee Museum of Natural History. Other Best Picture contenders include Gina Bellisario and Jeffrey Ebbeler, authors and illustrators of The Twelve Days of Christmas in Illinois, and the Eagle.
Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO, John Groh, is behind Nielsen. “We are thrilled to have Rick representing Rockford. His dedication to our area could not be more valuable to our community. His Rick’s Picks exhibit is a not-to-be-missed experience. It closes on April 10 so make plans today to visit.” said Groh. The exhibit was designed and curated by GrahamSpencer Inspired Strategic Communications of Rockford.
Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director, Jen Hoelzle, is excited to honor the unique individuals who make Illinois a memorable destination for travelers. “I have always felt the people and personalities that make up Illinois are our greatest asset. You simply will not find so many wonderful people anywhere else,” said Hoelzle.
The awards will kick off the 2013 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism. The conference runs February 27 – March 1, in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. For more information and registration, please visit ilgovconference.com.