Explore Fairbanks acknowledged the contributions of members and other individuals and organizations for their support of the local visitor industry at the 2016 Annual Awards Banquet on April 22 at the Birch Hill Recreation & Cross Country Ski Center.

Awards were presented as follows: Golden Heart Award to Cathy Schultz, Sophie Station Suites, Fountainhead Hotels, for her exceptional hospitality, commitment and effort to Fairbanks’ visitors; Aurora Award to City of Fairbanks Chief of Staff Jeff Jacobson, for his contributions to the development of the Fairbanks visitor industry; the Jim and Mary Binkley Award to Gold Daughters, for their creation, innovation, courage and entrepreneurialism in the introduction of a new attraction; and the Raven Award to Christmas in Ice, for promoting a distinct local, statewide, national and international interest and awareness among prospective visitors.

Jutta Pence was given the Golden Heart Greeter of the Year Award for dedicating herself to helping make a visitor’s experience special and memorable. Staff service awards included Amy Geiger and Ed Malen for five years of service and Charity Gadapee for fifteen years of service.