Award sponsor Erik Tonge, E-CHX Payroll (left) and K. William Gunther (right), chairman of NYSH&TA, present the NYS Hospitality & Tourism Association’s (NYSH&TA) ‘Tourism Executive of the Year’ Award to Mike Johnston, GM, Long Island Marriott.HAUPPAUGE, NY - (MAY 6, 2009) -  Mike Johnston, general manager of the Long Island Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Uniondale, received the NYS Hospitality & Tourism Association's (NYSH&TA) ‘Tourism Executive of the Year' Award.

Mr. Johnston, who has worked with Marriott International, Inc. for 30 years, is also president of the Long Island Hotel & Lodging Association since 2004.  As president of the LIH&LA, Mr. Johnston has been the driving force in generating scholarship funds for NYIT and Nassau Community College students enrolled in the hospitality and lodging curriculums.  Over $100,000 has been raised towards this effort in the last four years.  Additionally, Mr. Johnson has served on the executive committee and Board of Directors of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau & Sports Commission (LICVB&SC) since 1999. He is currently serving in his second year as vice chairman of the LICVB&SC Board. The winner was announced at NYSH&TA's 2009 Stars of the Industry Gala & Awards Banquet at the Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs, April 27. The Stars of the Industry awards program honors employees of the hotels, motels and tourism-related businesses throughout the state who best represent the quality service and spirit of the tourism and hospitality industry. "Our Stars of the Industry exemplify the dedicated workforce that pumps life into New York State's economy by extending the true meaning of hospitality to our many travelers everyday," said NYSH&TA President Daniel C. Murphy. The Tourism Executive of the Year award recognizes a management/executive who has demonstrated outstanding contributions of leadership and service to his/her community. The nominees are judged on performance that goes above and beyond normal job responsibilities and outstanding and unusual service to the industry. The New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association (NYSH&TA) is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 1,400 member businesses and individuals in the lodging and attractions industry. NYSH&TA's mission is to provide a strong voice for the New York State hospitality and tourism industry, and to protect and enhance the financial welfare of the industry. The Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission (LICVB&SC) was established in 1979 as the official tourism promotion agency for the destination's travel and tourism industry. Based on Long Island in Hauppauge, NY, the LICVB&SC contributes to the economic development and quality of life on Long Island by promoting the region as a world-class destination for tourism, meetings and conventions, trade shows, sporting events, and related activities. For more information about Long Island, please contact the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission by calling 1-877-586-6654 or visit http://www.discoverlongisland.com/.

###

Photo caption: Award sponsor Erik Tonge, E-CHX Payroll (left) and K. William Gunther (right), chairman of NYSH&TA, present the NYS Hospitality & Tourism Association's (NYSH&TA) ‘Tourism Executive of the Year' Award to Mike Johnston, GM, Long Island Marriott. Contact:          Kristen Matejka, Director of Marketing and Communications, LICVB≻ (631) 951-3900 ext.317; kmatejka@discoverlongisland.com