Named for Frank Morrison who served as Nebraska Governor from 1961 to 1967. Governor Morrison established the Nebraska Tourism program while in office and in later years was the driving force behind the construction of the Archway at Kearney. Governor Morrison was one of Nebraska’s greatest cheerleaders and a tireless promoter for tourism right up until the day he died, just a month shy of 99 years old, in 2004.
The Frank Morrison Award is presented to an elected official that champions the cause of tourism. It is open to any elected official that views tourism as an intrinsic part of economic development and demonstrates that through their actions during public service.
The first award was given in 1997 to Jim Jones, Eddyville, for introducing and prioritizing the Equine Limited Liability legislation that was passed in 1997. Other recipients have been Joyce Hillman (Scottsbluff) in 1998. Senator Hillman was consistently supportive of tourism during her terms in the Legislature. 1999 the award was given to William Robert (Bob) Wickersham (Harrison) for his efforts towards Nebraska tourism. Ken Schilz (0gallala), introducer of the Agritourism Limited Liability legislation, and LeRoy Louden (Ellsworth), who introduced the legislation that established the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Both Senators Schilz and Louden received their awards in 2012.
The 2018 award was presented to Senator John Stinner of Gering. Senator Stinner’s commitment to the fledgling Tourism Commission was clear even before he took over reins as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, when he began a rigorous examination of the Commission’s finances and thanks to his leadership, the Commission is now on a sound financial foundation. His willingness to introduce LB222 during the 2017 legislative session is just a small part of Senator Stinner’s bigger picture accomplishment, that of restoring fiscal soundness at the Commission.
NETA is now accepting nominations for the Frank Morrison Award. This award was established to recognize appointed or elected officials with a history of supporting the tourism industry. To nominate an outstanding public tourism partner (Senator, Mayor, City Council, etc)