LEXINGTON, Ky. – VisitLEX recognized 18 individuals as Hometown Hosts at a luncheon today at the Keene Barn at Keeneland. These Hometown Hosts were responsible for bringing in 9,391 visitors representing 6,395 room nights to Lexington.

Developed by VisitLEX in 2004, the Recommend LEX Program provides support and resources to anyone in Kentucky who can influence and be instrumental in bringing meetings, conventions and events to Lexington. VisitLEX’s goal is to make the planning process easier for the Hometown Host by providing meeting and hotel options, specialty venue ideas, electronic bid presentations, site visit coordination and creative local group activities. 

“Hometown Hosts are integral in our efforts to attract meetings and conventions to Lexington”, said Mary Quinn Ramer, President VisitLEX. “Their intimate knowledge of the conferences and meetings represented below allow us an important strategic advantage and we are grateful for their willingness to work with us in bringing these events to Lexington.”

Lexington tourism and conventions brought in more than $16 million in tax revenue and $191 million in total room revenue in 2018.

This year’s Hometown Host honorees, who were presented with a commemorative award, are:

  • Karen Andreassen, HelmsBriscoe, US Dressage 2018 Finals
  • Lee Carter, Equestrian Events, INC., 2019 American Eventing Championship
  • Rob Caudill, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Gamma Delta Celebration: Retirement of Bill Martin
  • Ericka Cole, International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, IFSAC Fall 2019 Conference
  • Stephanie Czuhajewski, Agentis Management, TraumaCon 2019
  • Brian Doty, Agentis Management, TraumaCon 2019
  • Lastenia Fraley, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Valvoline Latin America Meeting
  • Tammy Hall, Kentucky Department of Public Health, 2019 Convocation of Southern State Epidemiologists Meeting
  • Johnnie Johnson, Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling, KYACAC 38th Annual Conference
  • Gary Means, Mid-South Transportation & Parking Association, Mid-South Transportation & Parking Association Annual Spring Conference
  • Lauren Moore, IMN Solutions, MPI MidAmerica 2019 Education Conference
  • Natasha Pedigo, Asphalt Institute, Asphalt Institute 2019 Centennial Event
  • Lynne Rieske-Kinney, University of Kentucky – College of Agriculture, Food and Environment 61st Annual Southern Forest Insect Work Conference
  • Dave Shepherd, 27th Infantry Historical Society 2020 Wolfhound Reunion
  • Dianna Spina, HelmsBriscoe, KYACAC 38th Annual Conference
  • Doug Thoroughman, Kentucky Department of Public Health, 2019 Convocation of Southern State Epidemiologists
  • Donna Winkler, Berea College, GEAR UP Boot Camp Conference
  • Lisa Zent, Experient, American Hippotherapy Association 2019 Biennial Meeting

VisitLEX, in cooperation with Bluegrass Tourism Marketing Association and Bluegrass Hospitality Association celebrate these Hometown Hosts as integral members of the Bluegrass travel and tourism community on the heels of National Tourism Week which was held May 5-11, 2019. National Tourism Week is an annual celebration when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being.