Amack honored as Nebraska Travel Conference concludes

More than 150 tourism professionals were on hand to honor their peers at the annual travel awards banquet Thursday evening at the Gering Civic Center. The event capped the annual Nebraska Travel Conference organized by the Nebraska Tourism Commission and hosted by the Gering Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy announced the awards, with biggest award of the evening, the 2012 Henry Fonda Award going to Rex Amack, the longest serving director in the history of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission.

Lt Gov. Rick Sheehy announced the following 2012 Nebraska Travel Industry award winners.

Amack, who retired in April, accumulated an impressive legacy in the development of outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation education across the state. Some of those accomplishments include the production of "NEBRASKAland" magazine, the development of interactive outdoor experiences called "Know Nebraska Tours" and the creation of the state's first award-winning recreation television show, "Outdoor Nebraska."

He was instrumental in developing a nationally recognized state park system and in building the partnerships that created Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, which has become one of the state's most popular tourist destinations.

The Tourism Visionary Award was given to Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth for his efforts during the last legislative session to create the Nebraska Tourism Commission.

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