April 28, 2021 (Des Moines, Iowa) — Jefferson received two tourism awards at the 2021 Iowa Tourism Conference at a ceremony on April 28 in Des Moines. Mahanay Memorial Carillon Bell Tower received the award for 2021 Outstanding Attraction (Rural). Earning the award for Outstanding Promotional Material (Rural) was Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community (JM:MS&CC). Three tourism team members Deb McGinn, Pat Richards and Beth Vander Wilt of JM:MM&CC submitted the rigorous application for these awards.
“We are so pleased and proud to be recognized as the outstanding 2021 attraction in Iowa from the top agencies in the areas of tourism. Our application process emphasized the interactive opportunities at Mahanay Bell Tower and how Covid-19 and Derecho challenges were met. With the newest roof top art, new sculptures, Arch Alley, and business news, this is going to be a great summer for the Bell Tower and Jefferson! Many thanks to the Bell Tower Community Foundation which has been our driving force over the years and the Tower View Team for bringing art to our downtown square,” stated Pat Richards, Bell Tower staff member and member of the tourism team.
“It was the combined effort of some of the people that were on the Chamber’s tourism team and new people who have joined the team that made our promotional marketing materials really work. Creative ideas are being shared and that is what makes for collaboration with awesome results. Jeff Lamoreaux is an asset to the team as Jeff form Jefferson, pulling it all together with our radio, print, television and social media advertising we did last year,” remarked Deb McGinn of the tourism team.
In 2020, the tourism team explored new ways to attract visitors to Jefferson. Ad space was purchased for Travel Iowa and Our Iowa publications which included the organization’s website, Jefferson, IA app and Facebook page. A 30-second Jefferson commercial was created and is being played on cable networks. Radio spots using the iconic voice of Jeff from Jefferson (Jeff Lamoreaux) reaches a different category of visitors. Inside the loaner cars at the local airport, is a folder equipped with brochures and information about the area. The team uses Facebook and has gained a large and faithful audience. There is a tourism tab on the Jefferson Matters: A Main Street and Chamber Community’s website where attractions, RV information, shopping opportunities and restaurant experiences are listed.
“I’m so proud of all the volunteers in the Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community program who have put in countless hours through the years to help continue to make Jefferson a great place to live, work, and play. This is another award validating what we already know about Jefferson and hopefully this will continue to keep us top of mind for people looking for a new community to visit or relocate. We are very blessed to have such great talent and resources in our community,” noted Jamie Daubendiek, President of JM:MS&CC.
“As one of the judges for the promotional materials category, I was so impressed by Jefferson’s ingenuity and focus on results through their campaign in 2020. It was a challenging year, and Jefferson is doing incredible work. My congratulations to the Mahanay Bell Tower staff and docents as well as your Main Street and Chamber staff on a job very well done,” said State Tourism Manager Amy Zeigler.