Brad Jones, Executive Director of the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau, was recognized for his commitment to the hospitality and tourism industry when he was named the "Outstanding Individual in Tourism" at the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference. The awards banquet was held at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, MN, the evening of February 2 and is hosted annually by the official state tourism promotion agency. The annual conference is attended by more than 300 individuals, organizations and tourism-related businesses.
The "Outstanding Individual in Tourism" award is presented to an individual who has actively worked to advance tourism, conducting statewide programs that enhance and promote the tourism industry in Minnesota. Recipients of the award may be a volunteer or an employee of a tourism-related organization or business. Special consideration is given to level of achievements, length of involvement, and overall contributions to the state's image and tourism industry. Past recipients of the award include Dutch Cragun (2009), Cole Carley (2011), Terry Mattson (2012) and Mark Ronnei (2014).
Jones has served as Executive Director of the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau since January 2005, is an ex-officio board member of the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Rochester Amateur Sports Commission, and serves as Chair of the Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust. He was and is currently appointed to the MN Tourism Council by governors Pawlenty and Dayton, and is an active supporter of the Meet in Minnesota initiative. He has contributed to the development of significant tourism-related projects in the Rochester area such as securing state and local support of the convention center expansion at the Mayo Civic Center and inclusion of hospitality as a new program pathway offered through Rochester Community and Technical College's CTECH/STEM Center Project. His efforts support ongoing advocacy, development, and delivery of multiple aspects of the Destination Medical Center.