Staff Report

Visit the Santa Ynez Valley (Visit SYV) announced its new board of directors and honored three local industry professionals at its annual meeting on June 13 at the Hotel Corque.

The organization also highlighted 2018 successes, including increased visitation to the valley.

As a tourism business improvement district (TBID), the tourism promotion group measures part of its success by assessing an increase in hotel occupancy, reflected in their annual funds. The valley TBID collected 8.31 percent more money in 2018 than in 2017, and 28.5 percent increase in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

 “It’s wonderful to be able to reflect back on a good year, but it’s great to be able to show that this year has started out even better,” said Visit SYV President and CEO Shelby Sim.

Sim also presented the organization’s new board of directors slate, who begin serving this month.

The board includes Linda Johansen of Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn and King Frederik Inn, chairman; Andrew Economon of Chumash Enterprises, representing Hotel Corque, vice chairman; Sherrie FitzGerald of Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, secretary; John Richardson of Santa Ynez Inn, treasurer; Will Henry of PICO; Budi Kazali of Ballard Inn and Gathering Table; Karla Azahar of Santa Ynez Valley Marriott; Jonathan Rosenson of Mirabelle Inn and First & Oak; and Louise Smith of Louise’s Kitchen Table.

Marcy Payne, director of recreation at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, was recognized for her 26 years of service in hospitality with the “Spirit of the Santa Ynez Valley” award.

Crystal “Pink” DeLongpre, chef de cuisine at Root246 and Hotel Corque, was recognized for her dedication and passion for sourcing and supporting local growers with the “Ambassador of the Santa Ynez Valley” award.

Giorgio Curti, owner of Amaranto Catering, was recognized for exceptional community support and service with the “Spirit of Community” award.

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