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Release Date: May 13,2024

"Savor the Scenic in Summit" Debuts at Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau's Annual Zenith Awards

Akron, OH — (May 9, 2024) — The Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau (ASCVB) held its 21st annual Zenith Awards at the John S. Knight Center on May 8, 2024.

With nearly 300 in attendance, the Zenith Awards luncheon recognized hospitality industry partners within Summit County ranging from attractions and restaurants to hotels and shops.

Lisa King, executive director of Summit Metro Parks, was the recipient of the 2024 Chairman’s Award. This award is given to a partner in the hospitality industry who has made significant, innovative, and notable contributions; who advocates for collective work in elevating, growing, and promoting Greater Akron and Summit County as a premier hospitality/tourism destination; and a leadership legacy that has left a longstanding, positive impact on the hospitality industry.

Kimberly Beckett, vice president of Downtown Akron Partnership, received The Susan L. Hamo Hospitality Person of the Year Award. This honor is given to an individual who epitomizes hospitality and demonstrates unwavering commitment and exceptional dedication to their work.

Additionally, Ren Camacho, board chair of the ASCVB and president and CEO of Akron-Canton Airport, and Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the ASCVB, presented awards to 15 partners and shared how creativity, dedication, and working together will enable the industry to continue to thrive.

“The Zenith Awards is our opportunity to say thank you to our valued friends and partners,” said Mervis. “The experiences they provide make our community engaging, diverse and authentic. We appreciate their talents and recognize their contributions to Summit County’s hospitality industry.”

Categories are determined by nominations submitted to the ASCVB and winners are selected based on popular vote.

21st Annual Zenith Award Winners:

  • Chairman’s Award: Lisa King, Summit Metro Parks
  • Susan L. Hamo Hospitality Person of the Year Award: Kimberly Beckett, Downtown Akron Partnership
  • Hospitality Industry Awards:
    • Social Media Spotlight: MGM Northfield Park
    • Stellar Service: Mary McBride
    • Pinnacle Partnership: Akron Art Museum and METRO RTA
    • Rookie of the Year: Emma Kaczmar, Akron Art Museum
    • Volunteer of the Year: Megan Zimmerman
    • Hospitality Impact: Patrick Bravo, Summit County Land Bank
  • Best in Class Awards:
    • Flavor of Distinction: Crave
    • Sip of Distinction: Tiki Underground
    • Essential Experience: Wild Lights at Akron Zoo
    • Hottest Hidden Gem: The Rialto Theatre
    • Best Retail Therapy: Zeber-Martell Gallery & Clay Studio
    • Best Photo Op: Springfield Bog Metro Park, Summit Metro Parks
    • Can’t Miss Experience: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Also during the event, ASCVB was thrilled to unveil its newest campaign, Savor the Scenic in Summit.

Savor the Scenic in Summit was introduced as an initiative aimed at showcasing the natural beauty and cultural richness of Summit County. This campaign will assist ASCVB's efforts to promote Summit County as a destination for travelers and community members seeking outdoor adventure and cultural exploration.

"As stewards of Summit County's tourism industry, we are excited to have introduced Savor the Scenic in Summit,” shared Stephanie Berry, ASCVB’s VP of Marketing & Brand Management. "This campaign represents our ongoing commitment to showcasing our region’s unique experiences, from our hidden gems to our vibrant communities."

"This campaign will encourage visitors, community members, and those living near Summit County borders to find a new experience,” Berry stated. "This initiative is the result of collaborative efforts between the ASCVB, our partners, and the community, and we’re excited to uncover the beauty and wonder of Summit County with visitors.”

ASCVB is actively seeking community support for the Savor the Scenic in Summit campaign over the next six months by using our hashtag #SavortheScenicinSummit and telling those on social where to explore. With the support of local businesses, organizations, and residents, the ASCVB aims to amplify the reach of the initiative and further showcase Summit County's allure to visitors near and far.

For more information about Savor the Scenic in Summit and other initiatives by the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, please visit