Lee Tasseff was recognized with the state’s highest tourism industry honor, the Paul Sherlock Lifetime Achievement Award in Tourism, during the Ohio Conference on Tourism, Nov. 16.

The president of the Mansfield/Richland County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tasseff was presented the peer award at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris.

A graduate of the University of Findlay, Tasseff was hired as Executive Director, now President, of the Mansfield/Richland County Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1990. He’s held numerous leadership roles at the local, regional and state level, including President of the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and the Ohio Travel Association.

Tasseff is a current board member of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association. “Lee is known throughout the state as change-maker with an instinctive understanding of tourism and its contributions to the economy,“ says Ohio Travel Association Executive Director, Melinda Huntley. “He’s a role model for countless industry members, and because he believes in synergy, he gives freely of his expertise and knowledge to other industry members. Lee’s contributions to Ohio are long-lasting and abundant.”

“Lee Tasseff embodies what all tourism organizations hope to find in a leader. Lee understands that marketing Mansfield/Richland County means tapping into the true interests of travelers and focusing the CVB’s marketing efforts on what will hook the visitor, rather than just promoting a general tourism product for his area. His leadership was instrumental in gaining statewide exposure for many of the area’s attractions and embracing creative options to secure special events that generate high-value dollars for the community,” said Josh Maurer, Best Western General Manager and CVB Board Chairman.

The Paul Sherlock Award in Tourism has been given to one tourism professional in Ohio every year since 1975. The award is named after the man who first recognized Ohio’s tourism potential. Paul Sherlock was Ohio’s first travel and tourism director who contributed toward the creation of the Ohio Travel Association and the Ohio Festival and Events Association.

Recipients are nominated by peers and voted on by the 24-member Ohio Travel Association board based on his or her contributions to creating growth in Ohio tourism through innovation, astute business practices, and leadership.

The Ohio Travel Association is the nonprofit association representing museums, attractions, hotels, destination marketing organizations, suppliers, restaurants, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and other businesses that make up Ohio’s $40 billion tourism industry.