Oneida County Tourism Hosts 35th Annual Meeting, Honors Rob Esche and 20 local businesses

Oneida County Tourism (OCT) hosted their 35th Annual Meeting on October 24 in Utica, NY at the new Irish Cultural Center. The event included a review of marketing and promotional programs, election of new directors and honoring Rob Esche as well as 20 local businesses who celebrated significant anniversaries.

Rob EscheRob Esche, CEO of the Mohawk Valley Garden, was honored as the recipient of the 2019 Christopher P. Destito Tourism Leadership Award. The presentation of the award was given by County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. and NYS Assembly Woman Marianne Buttenschon. Over the years, Esche has had an impact on tourism by helping to bring the Utica Comets and Utica City FC to Utica. He owns several restaurants including 72 Tavern at the Adirondack Bank Center. When speaking with media, Esche touched on how these businesses and teams create a platform of civic pride which is vital to the community.

During the meeting, guests also heard from special guest, Ross Levi, Director of the Division of Tourism and I Love NY. Ross provided an overview of NYS tourism initiatives and promotions.

Twenty tourism partners were honored for their significant anniversaries.  This year’s honorees were: 

- CNY Travel Show – 10 years
- Delta Lake Inn – 10 years
- Griffis Sculpture Garden – 10 years
- CHAIRity Auction – 30 years
- Club Monarch – 40 years
- Remsen Barn Festival of the Arts – 40 years
- Tug Hill Commission – 45 years
- Kennedy Arena – 55 year
- Woods Valley Ski Area – 55 years
- Original Herkimer Cheese – 70 years
- Ventura’s Restaurant – 75 years
- Eddie’s Restaurant – 85 years
- Rome Country Club – 90 years
- Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute – 100 years
- New York State Barge Canal – 100 years
- O’Scugnizzo Pizza – 105 years
- Utica Zoo – 105 years
- Union Station – 105 years

During the business portion of the meeting, a slate of nominees to serve on the Oneida County Tourism Board of Directors was presented. They are as follows:

- Lee Arthur, Visions Hotels, renewal of 3-year term
- Dan Cifonelli, Sylvan-Verona Beach Resort Association, 1-year term
- Lindsay Mogle, Utica Comets, 3-year term
- Cliff Montanye, FX Matt Brewing Company, renewal of 3-year term
- Joe Schmidt, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, renewal of 3-year term
- Lisa Wilsey, The Stanley, 2-year term

IMG 20191024 184832The motion was carried. Following this, the Board recognized John Fehlner of Clinton Cider Mill and Roxanne Lucenti of Turning Stone Casino for fulfilling their terms. The evening concluded with coffee, dessert and music from Opus Black.

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