Governor Laura Kelly Announces Governor’s Tourism Award Winner

Nov 16, 2021

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Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland, Rooks County Economic Development Director Roger Hrabe, and Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today congratulated Roger Hrabe, Rooks County Economic Development Director, on receiving the Governor’s Tourism Award. The Governor announced the prestigious award during the annual Kansas Tourism Conference in Liberal.

“Our tourism industry supports Kansas jobs, injects millions into our economy, and preserves our state’s unique history for future generations – but its success wouldn’t be possible without talented Kansans like Roger Hrabe,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Roger truly understands the connection between tourism and developing a thriving community, and his work has gone above and beyond for the people of Rooks County. Congratulations, Roger, on this well-deserved recognition.”

Governor Kelly cited Hrabe’s many accomplishments, including his part in developing and constructing informational tourism kiosks along Solomon Valley Highway 24, during the award ceremony. Hrabe also played a critical role in developing the Rooks County Regional Airport, which boosts the local economy by allowing visitors to stop and fuel their planes; encourages more overnight stays in the county; hosts airplane tour groups; and makes it easier for doctors to fly in and serve the local hospital.

The Governor’s Tourism Award was established in 1983 to recognize Kansans for outstanding contributions to the Kansas travel and tourism industry. This annual award is presented to an individual or organization that demonstrates cooperation, sustainability, quality and accountability in their support of the overall growth of tourism in Kansas.

Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland personally presented Hrabe with the award during the 2021 Kansas Tourism Conference, which led to a standing ovation from the audience.

“Roger’s commitment to making his community a better place truly is inspirational,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “He has been thoughtful, innovative and selfless in finding ways to strengthen local travel and tourism opportunities as part of his economic development strategies. Roger’s hard work speaks for itself, and his community and region are better off because of his tireless efforts.”

Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland personally presented Hrabe with the award during the 2021 Kansas Tourism Conference

“I am both appreciative and humbled to receive this award,” Hrabe said. “There are so many tourism professionals around the state who do a much better job than I do. I am grateful for their help and support.”

The Kansas Tourism Conference – held annually in various locations across Kansas – is hosted by Kansas Tourism, a division of the Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Travel Industry Association of Kansas (TIAK). The 2022 Kansas Tourism Conference will be held in Wichita.

About the Kansas Tourism Division

The Mission of the Kansas Tourism Division is to inspire travel to and throughout Kansas to maximize the positive impacts that tourism has on our state and local communities. Kansas Tourism is a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce and works hand in hand with other Commerce community programs to elevate and promote Kansas as a tourist destination.  Kansas Tourism oversees all tourism marketing and PR for the state, produces travel publications and advertising, manages state Travel Information Centers, manages both the Kansas By-ways program and the Kansas Agritourism program, approves tourist signage applications, produces the KANSAS! Magazine, and provides financial and educational support to the tourism industry in Kansas through grants, education, and support.