Sports Commission, Michelle Russ recognized by Orange Beach City Council

July 10, 2019
Sports Commission recognized by Orange Beach City Council

The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission and Michelle Russ, director of sales for the Sports Commission, were recognized by the Orange Beach City Council during the council meeting on Tuesday, July 9th. 

The recognition highlights recent awards. In May, the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), now rebranded as the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), announced Russ as the winner of the Game Changer Award and the Sports Commission as the Sports Tourism Organization of the Year (under 500,000 population). 

Certificates of Recognition were presented by Mayor Tony Kennon to Russ, and to Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism and the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission.

The certificate, signed by Mayor Kennon, presented to Russ reads as follows: 

Whereas, Michelle Russ is the Director of Sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission; and

Whereas, she serves daily in the critical role of marketing our area on a national, and at times global stage, in the ever-growing and competitive sports tourism market; and

Whereas, her dedication and passion for her role, the Sports Commission’s staff and leadership are obvious; and

Whereas, in 2018, Michelle’s sales division helped the Sports Commision attract 155 events to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, resulting in 114,786 room nights and a $118 million economic impact; and

Whereas, her professionalism and collaborative attitude resulted in being honored by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), now rebranded as the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), with the GAME CHANGER AWARD at the organization’s 27th Annual Symposium in May; and

Whereas, newly anointed “Game Changer” Michelle Russ was the only female finalist for the prestigious award; and

Whereas, the City of Orange Beach commends Michelle Russ for this distinction among her competitive peers and for raising the bar for Pleasure Island as a whole.

Now, therefore, on behalf of the Mayor and Council, we recognize Michelle Russ, a proud Orange Beach citizen, for her outstanding service to the City of Orange Beach, and look forward to her future successes.

The certificate, signed by Mayor Kennon, presented to the Sports Commission, and accepted by Gendler, reads as follows: 

Whereas, The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission is a partnership between Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (GSOBT), the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and the cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores; and

Whereas, in 2007, the Sports Commission became a department within GSOBT, and in this role, the commission works tirelessly to bring quality sporting events to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores; and

Whereas, the commission has made a noticeable impact in stabilizing our year-round beach economy by helping to grow the shoulder seasons; and

Whereas, the importance of the sports tourism market became apparent after the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill when sporting events was the only market segment that did not cancel trips to the Alabama Gulf Coast; and

Whereas, in 2018, the Sports Commision attracted 155 events to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, resulting in 114,786 room nights and a $118 million economic impact; and

Whereas, the commission’s outstanding track record was recognized by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), now rebranded as the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), by being named the SPORTS TOURISM ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR (under 500,000 population) at the organization’s 27th Annual Symposium in May; and

Whereas, the Sports ETA judging panel noted in the rigorous selection process for the award that the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission stood out among steep competition, and said, “It is clear they are doing big things in their community.”; and

Whereas, the City of Orange Beach commends the Sports Commission on this outstanding accolade.

Now, therefore, on behalf of the Mayor and Council, we honor the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission for its outstanding contributions to the City of Orange Beach, and look forward to future successes.