Three longtime volunteers in the county tourism industry were recently recognized for their service by the Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council.
Margaret Clerkin, Sandy Creek; County Legislator Louella LeClair, District 25, Fulton; and Mercedes Niess, Oswego, were named the 2009 Tourism Ambassadors of the Year. The annual award recognizes extraordinary support and commitment of time and energy to the Oswego County tourism industry.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These three women have volunteered countless hours advocating for Oswego CountyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tourism industry,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Edwin Lighthall, advisory council chairman. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They have welcomed thousands of visitors to Oswego County with enthusiasm, pride and dedication to our county.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Clerkin is president of the Pulaski-Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, director of the International Sportfishing Museum, and a longtime volunteer in many community groups. She operated the Tug Hill Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Sandy Creek for many years.
Legislator LeClair initiated the Oswego County Ambassador program and worked as a sales and marketing consultant for many years. She is a frequent volunteer for county tourism programs, is involved in several community organizations and is vice chairwoman of the County LegislatureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Economic Development and Planning Committee.
Niess is director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego, served as trustee and co-chair of the Oswego Public Library Capital Campaign, and chair of the Oswego Salvation Army Capital Committee. She is instrumental in developing the marine museum and has volunteered in numerous area organizations.
The Tourism Advisory Council has given the award since 1995. Past recipients include David Rath and James Wright in 2008; Paul Lear, 2007; Mike Redding, 2006; Doug Ververs, Donald Feck and Hank Cosselman, 2005; Fred Crisafulli, 2002; Capt. Dick Pfund, 2001; Shirley Guenthner, 2000; Jim Walker, 1999; Tim Nekritz, 1998; Barbara Egelston and Charles Krupke, 1997; Sandy Resnick, 1996; and Helen Chetney and Edwin Lighthall, 1995. The council presented an honorary lifetime achievement award to Krupke in 2007.
Members of the Tourism Advisory Council are appointed by Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann and represent tourism businesses and attractions throughout Oswego County.