Vermont travel industry expert Sue Kruthers was named the 2003 Travel Person of the Year at the 21st Annual Vermont Travel Industry Conference (VTIC) November 19, 2003 in Stowe.The VTIC is an independent non-profit organization comprised of a coalition of state, private, non-profit, and business organizations. Each year, a special committee selects the Travel Person of the Year based on the following criteria:* Encourages travelers to visit the state* Helps position Vermont as a friendly and fun place to visit* Represents to Vermonters and visitors why Vermont is a desirable destination* Promotes the value of tourism to the state’s economy* Preserves, protects and promotes the good qualities of Vermont* Works for cooperation with the travel industry among other appropriate industries in the state* Exemplifies what is good within the travel industry and within our local communitiesBruce Hyde, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner, presented the award, stating that “Without Sue Kruthers, our Vermont travel industry would not be what it is today.” Kruthers has been a shining star in Vermont Tourism industry for over 30 years, and in her role as Vice President of Tourism for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, she has been one of the most effective leaders of the travel industry for well over a decade. In January 2003, Kruthers resigned her position working in the travel and tourism industry and accepted the position as the Vermont Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs. “Receiving this award is a great honor as I reflect upon my efforts in the Vermont tourism industry. I have taken on many challenges, and I am thrilled to be recognized for having played an important part in the success of business in Vermont,’ Kruthers said.Kruthers’ experience in the Vermont travel industry is extensive. She serves as President of the Board of the Vermont Film Commission, is a member of the Travel Recreation Advisory Council, has chaired the Vermont Travel Industry Conference Board and is currently Vice Chair of the National Council of Attractions. She was also a founding member of the Vermont Bed & Breakfast/Country Inns Council, and the Vermont Farms Association. With the Vermont Attractions Association, she has guided the organization to become the thriving marketing tool that it is today, with over sixty members, generating a substantial increase in visitors to Vermont attractions annually.