CANANDAIGUA, NY – Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, the official tourism promotion agency for Ontario County, announces that David Lee, marketing operations manager for the tourism bureau, has received the 2019 Young Professional Leadership Tourism Excellence award from the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA).  The Tourism Excellence Awards recognize leaders in New York State's tourism industry. The winning individuals are selected based on demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism. 

In his nomination, Lee was recognized for the work he does to bring the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection’s strategic marketing plan to life by evaluating emerging technologies and the latest marketing trends. He provides thoughtful leadership and perspective for adopting the technology and tools that best help the organization reach its strategic goals and create visitorship and economic vitality for Ontario County. He joined Finger Lakes Visitors Connection in 2010, and works one-on-one with Ontario County’s wide range of diverse tourism partners as well as the organization’s marketing team to develop and execute strategic, multi-channel, integrated, results driven marketing initiatives and campaigns.

“David is a technology-focused destination marketing professional, that strives to combine research and data into marketing success,” said Valerie Knoblauch, president and CEO of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. “He uses his technical skills to collect important data which helps in the development and growth of our tourism industry and has a comprehensive understanding of our market opportunities.”

Krista Johns, director of sales for the Geneva Ramada, agrees. As a first-time delegate to the American Bus Association this past year, she relied on Lee’s knowledge, training, input and guidance, which led her to be confident attending the show and return home with ROI within a week.

“David goes above and beyond to help those in Ontario County to promote their business, and he enjoys helping those in need to be successful in their own profession,” she said.

NYSTIA serves New York state’s tourism industry through collaborative initiatives, research, legislative awareness and exceptional marketing. The organization hosts an annual Tourism Excellence Awards to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in New York state, through excellence and creative achievements in destination marketing.  These respected awards honor the best of the best in New York state’s tourism industry.

Lee was recognized with the award during the Tourism Excellence Awards ceremony, a part of NYSTIA’s Annual Brunch held Friday, September 27, 2019, at the Auburn Holiday Inn as part of the NYSTIA Annual Meeting. For more information about NYSTIA, please visit