News & Press: Public

Guild Honors Awardees - January 9, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018  
Posted by: Jackie Frend

    The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

    PO Box 242, Washington, DC 20044-0242       _________________________________________________________________________

Press Release                                                            Russ Norfleet, Chair 

Sunday, January 13, 2018                           Communications Committee                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 Four Honored at Guild Annual Membership Meeting January 9, 2018 

Every year, the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC bestows awards on outstanding professionals in the tourism business in 4 categories.

This year’s honorees are Karen Miller, guild certified guide, for the Jill Blakeman Award; Josh Feldman, group sales manager, Ford’s Theatre, for the Tourism Industry Contribution Award; Edna Whitmyre, motor coach operator, Susquehanna Trailways, for the Motor Coach Operator Award; and Martha Harmon, guild guide, for the Ginny Moser Award.  

The Jill Blakeman Award is awarded to a guild certified guide whose work best exemplifies the spirt of the Guild, who has made an original and significant contribution to the operations of the Guild, and who has advanced the guiding profession is some other significant way.

For years Karen Miller has worked tirelessly to improve the Guild website, which is the key intersection of Guild members and Guild information. Her nominator, past president Ellen Gold, says, “I wonder how she finds time to eat or brush her teeth!” In addition to her professional and family responsibilities, Karen has contributed to the Guild board with gracious good humor, solving technical issues with the insight of a working tour guide. She has tutored board members and new Guild members alike. After years of guiding, Karen has branched out into running a tour guide service business. For her many contributions to advancing the guiding profession, Karen Miller received the 2017 Jill Blakeman Award.

The Tourism Industry Contribution Award is awarded to an individual or organization that has provided particularly valuable and distinguished service to the Guild, the guiding profession, or tourism in the Washington, DC area.

Under the leadership of group sales manager Josh Feldman, Ford’s Theatre regularly welcomes tour groups large and small, with courtesy and efficiency. Nominator Ellen Malasky says Josh’s hard work “helps ensure that our groups have the best experience possible. This is no easy task, requiring the ability to coordinate with the needs of the fine theater productions, National Park Service and the many touring groups. We in the Guild are fortunate to have this national treasure so accessible to our visitors.” For enthusiastic contributions to the Guild, guiding and tourism, Ford’s Theatre and Joshua Feldman received the 2017 Tourism Industry Contribution Award.

The Motor Coach Operator Award is awarded to a coach operator (local or regional), who has best contributed to the team spirit of guiding and to the care and comfort of passengers. Past Guild president Joe Steinbock nominated Edna Whitmyre, as a knowledgeable, calm, on-time team player who memorably saves the day in emergencies. One example of Edna’s excellence, cited by Joe: “We had an engine failure immediately upon exiting the Lincoln Tunnel in New York. She quickly arranged for another coach to meet us so our tour was not impaired. She quickly had the engine repaired so she could rejoin us a few hours later.” For her “consistently outstanding” performance and ability to anticipate a tour group’s needs, Edna Whitmyre of Susquehanna Trailways received the 2017 Motor Coach Operator Award.

The Ginny Moser Award is awarded to an individual who accumulates the highest number of continuing education units (CEUs) to advance from guild guide to certified guild guide during the first twelve months of Guild membership. When honoree, Martha Harmon, was informed that she was receiving the 2017 Ginny Moser award, Martha said, “the opportunity to attend a variety of tours and educational events is a great bonus to Guild membership.” Lori Lowe and Kevin Golden had the second and third highest number of CEUs.

Congratulations to all honorees!

The awards advisory committee reviewed the nominations submitted by members for these honors in the fall and made recommendations to the board. Serving on the committee were guides Linda Dickinson, Eric McElroy, Jamie Johnson, Christina Bauer and affiliate Carolyn Crouch. In December, the board selected the honorees.

Brenda Turner, Chair

Awards Advisory Committee