To a standing ovation from tourism officials from across the state, the Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (MACVB) awarded Pat Mutter, executive director of Visit Winona, with its highest honor, the Roger Toussaint Award, at the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference in Alexandria, Minnesota, this week.
Taking the helm of Visit Winona in 2002, Mutter has shepherded the organization through dramatic changes in the Winona tourism market over the past 17 years. In presenting the award, MACVB officials noted that under Pat’s leadership, Visit Winona has blossomed into a powerful marketing force, keeping step with the Winona region as it, too, blossomed into an exceptional destination since 2002.
Mutter was acknowledged for having been at the forefront of helping to lay the groundwork and support network for the festivals and events that have enhanced Winona as a destination in recent years, and she was praised for being at the center of the consensus-building conversations that moved those efforts forward.
Through her work as a connector, Mutter is credited for bringing people together to foster forward momentum, and she is considered an enduring advocate for the Winona region and tourism in general. She was also one of the initiators of Explore Mississippi Bluffs, a regional organization that promotes several communities on the Mississippi River, and she has been active in MACVB as well as multiple boards and committees.
Her colleagues in the tourism industry call her an amazing industry asset for the dedication and knowledge she exhibits, and she is recognized and well-respected both within Winona and across the state.
The Roger Toussaint Award recognizes significant achievements by an MACVB member for their on-going contributions to the Minnesota tourism industry. Recipients are those who have been actively engaged and participatory in MACVB membership and its on-going efforts to increase tourism throughout the state, as well as those who have willingly mentored others to share their knowledge and expertise with the MACVB membership. Mutter is the 13th recipient of the award, which was created in 2005 in honor of long-time tourism industry advocate Roger Toussaint.