| The Howdy Awards Committee of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) has selected Bruce Landon, president of the Springfield Falcon Hockey Club, as the recipient of the 2008 Spotlight Award.|
The Spotlight Award is bestowed at the GSCVB's annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence. Unlike the winners in eight Howdy Award categories who are selected by hospitality judges from outside the Pioneer Valley, the recipient of Spotlight Award if chosen by the committee based on their dedication and outstanding contribution to the region's hospitality industry and the long-term impact their efforts have had on tourism in the Pioneer Valley.
Landon has served as general manager for 24 campaigns and as president for 14 seasons for the Springfield Falcons. Originally a player with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, he was selected in the 1969 Amateur Draft, then relocated to Springfield in October of that year. After eight seasons of playing professional hockey in Springfield, Hartford and Providence, he suffered a knee injury that ended his playing days, but not his involvement with the sport. He was soon appointed director of marketing and sales for the Springfield Indians and was the "color man" on the team's radio broadcasts.
In 1979, Landon received the Ken McKenzie Award, the American Hockey League's (AHL) award honoring the individual that best promotes his/her team during the season. Three years later, he was promoted to general manager, a title he holds to this day. He has overseen two consecutive Calder Cup winning teams, and was the recipient of the James E. Hendy Award, which honors the league's top executing, in 1981. In 1994, he made the firm commitment to keep hockey in Springfield. After the city lost its professional hockey team, Landon joined forces with Wayne LaChange to spearhead Pro Friends Inc., an investment group that was awarded an AHL expansion franchise the Springfield Falcons.
Prior to the 2002-03 season, Landon was involved in the creation of a new ownership group, Springfield Pro Hockey LLC, which purchased the Falcons from Pro Friends Inc. Through the years, Landon has served as key member of the AHL's Board of Governors as well as several of its committees.
"The GSCVB is very proud to present Bruce with the Spotlight Award," said Bureau President Mary Kay Wydra. "His commitment to both his sport, and this region, has been remarkable and unwavering for decades now. Falcons games are a vital event in our community, and you don't have to look far on game nights to see how many other businesses, especially restaurants, benefit from all the fans that come to see the Falcons on ice. Visiting players, heir crew and fans stay in our area hotels. Bruce, and the entire Falcons organization, are vital partners in the Pioneer Valley tourism industry, and we're very happy to honor Bruce for his dedication."
Landon will receive his award on May 20 during the 13th Annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.
The Howdy Awards, produced annually by the GSCVB since 1996, recognize front-line employees in the hospitality industry who go above and beyond in the performance of their duties and provide outstanding service to their guests an customers. By doing so, these hospitality professionals contribute to the economic vitality of the businesses they serve and the region overall.
The GSCVB is an affiliate of the Economic Development Council of Western Mass, is a private non-profit destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley for meetings and conventions, group tours and leisure travel.
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