New York Beer Project, Victor

Legacy Awards

Finger Lakes Visitors Connection honors individuals and organizations making significant contributions, demonstrating marketing or service excellence, or developing outstanding products for the tourism industry with the Legacy Awards. 

2019 Legacy Award Winners

John H. Brahm III Legacy Award
John H. Brahm III was respected and had received recognition for his leadership and innovation to the hospitality and tourism industry of Ontario County; including leadership in acquiring the land for the County Road 12 Scenic Overlook in the Town of South Bristol, and the entrepreneurial start-ups of the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail and the ROC/FLX Craft Beverage Trail. John was also engaged in other community activities including the Rotary Club (where he had 48 years of perfect attendance), the South Bristol Historical Society and numerous other Naples not-for-profits. John was one of Ontario County’s legendary entrepreneurs and was admired for his good humor, dedication, responsibility, leadership and selfless giving of time and talent.

Signature Legacy Award
Michael Joseph, Naples Valley Visitors Association, Naples
Michael Joseph is the glue that holds the Naples Valley Visitors Association together, making Naples a premier tourism destination. His work to grow membership, promote community businesses, lead teams that organize annual events and his ability to keep communication open among members, is invaluable to the success of Naples as a thriving community.

Community Philanthropy
Marjorie Morris, Posthumously, Clifton Springs
Marjorie Morris was honored posthumously for her work to transform downtown Clifton Springs into the picturesque, thriving village it is today. The vast majority of tourism in Clifton Springs exists due to the passion and inspiration of Marjorie and her husband, Drew, who transformed and provided long-term support for the Village, creating what is known locally as the “Morris Effect.”

Elke Schmitt, Ray’s Restaurant, Canandaigua
From her days of owning and running a catering business, to working as a wedding coordinator, to her current position at Ray’s Restaurant, Elke has always been committed to giving great service and ensuring her customers always have the best experience possible.

Behind the Scenes
Joel Richter, Friends of the Railroad, Manchester
Joel’s passion for his community and for growing awareness of Ontario County’s railroad history has provided many people with the opportunity to visit, get aboard, and experience past and present railroad transportation.

Marketing Excellence
Susie Atvell, Owner, Kindred Fare, Geneva
Kindred Fare’s Susie Atvell is a thoughtful, dynamic restaurateur, who has created what she describes as a “spirited cookery,” that serves up dishes and beverages made with fresh, local ingredients in a rustic, yet contemporary atmosphere.

Business Innovation
Suzanne & Ruud Vullers, Owners, Mountain Horse Farm
Situated on 33 peaceful acres with stunning views and 3 miles of walking trails, Mountain Horse Farm is an example of experiential travel at its best. From the Horse and Cow Wellness Experiences, to the traditional Sioux Indian Tipis, and the Doggie Hotel, Suzanne and Ruud have created a unique way to connect, interact and have fun, while relaxing.

Supporting Contributions to Tourism
Julie Sherwood, Senior Reporter, Messenger Post Newspapers, Canandaigua
Julie’s coverage of Ontario County’s tourism industry is at the heart of what local newspapers are all about — providing in-depth stories on local activities and events that help us see, know, care and understand our community. Her articles educate, engage and build understanding of important issues that affect us and our community.

Advocacy & Partnership
Fred Lightfoote, Town of Gorham Supervisor, Gorham
As a member of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, representing the Town of Gorham, Fred Lightfoote serves on the Planning & Environmental Quality Committee which oversees Tourism Promotion for Ontario County. He is a longtime supporter and advocate for tourism, helping to spread the positive message about tourism, its close integration with agriculture and its impact on Ontario County.