Award Recipients Applauded for Tireless Efforts in Supporting the Local Community & Tourism Industry Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic


ANAHEIM, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2021) – To commemorate an unprecedented year and a half for Anaheim’s tourism and hospitality industry, Visit Anaheim, the official destination marketing organization for Anaheim, issued its first-ever Champion of Tourism Awards.

Created uniquely for this year, the Champion of Tourism Awards recognized the tireless efforts of key individuals who went above and beyond throughout the pandemic to help the local tourism industry and community get back on its feet.

“We wanted to recognize the vigorous work and determined attitude our partners displayed throughout the pandemic,” said Jay Burress, President & CEO, Visit Anaheim. “These people fought to keep the lights on in Anaheim and advocated on behalf of our industry, showed up for our community, and inspired all of us to keep going.”

Announced during Visit Anaheim’s annual meeting with more than 350 partners in attendance, the three Champion of Tourism Award recipients included:

  • California Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva: Co-sponsor of California Assembly Bill 420 to require the state to allow all theme parks to reopen in the same tier of the Governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
  • Desert Palms Hotel General Manager Fred Brown: Known to be the first to volunteer, a go-to for support and not afraid to roll up his sleeves, there was no task too small if it meant supporting his community and industry.
  • Susan & Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Faessel: Lead participants in weekly food drives at the Honda Center, coordinated weekly lunches for over 1,000 local kids, facilitated the donation of thousands of facemasks to CHOC, local nonprofits, youth groups and Anaheim seniors.

While the coronavirus pandemic significantly impacted tourism-related jobs and businesses throughout Orange County, these leaders got to work on advocating for the reopening of the destination’s economic engines and ensured the community had continued access to much-needed supplies.

These Champions of Tourism embody Visit Anaheim’s ethos to serve as the conduit between its partners, community and customers.

To learn more about Visit Anaheim and its vision, go to

Visit Anaheim Contact:
Lindsay Swanson, Communications Director
(714) 765-2928

About Visit Anaheim: 
Founded in 1961, Visit Anaheim is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit destination marketing organization. Visit Anaheim’s mission is to develop, market, and sell Anaheim to benefit the economic vitality of its neighborhoods. To learn more about Visit Anaheim, visit: and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.