Vicki Comegys, Greater Des Moines Conventions and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) Vice President of Sales and Services, has been given the 2011 Bruce Riley McDaniel Award for Individual Professionalism and Lifetime Achievement. Comegys received this award today at the Upper Midwest Convention and Visitors Bureaus (UMCVB) Fall Conference held in Brookfield, WI.

Comegys has received this award, in part, for helping the GDMCVB secure more than 22,000 conventions and sporting events through her more than 20 years of service to the GDMCVB. Just in the last year, the GDMCVB booked 1,254 conventions/events for a total of nearly 350,000 room nights, contributing more than $90 million in economic impact from sales initiatives alone.

She is credited for helping develop the sports market segment early on in her career at the GDMCVB. Recently the Des Moines Area Sports Commission (DMASC), under the GDMCVB umbrella, has landed large-scale events such as the AAU Junior Olympic Games, the USA Track and Field Championships, NCAA Track and Field Division I Championships and the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Comegys is currently a member of American and Iowa Society of Association Executives and the Professional Conference Management Association Executive Board, Midwest Chapter. She has served as Past President of the Iowa Meetings Association and Past President of the Downtown Council. She is a Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) sales committee member and leadership instructor for Sales Academy Courses.

The “McDaniel Award” is given to a tourism industry professional that has achieved and exemplified greatness. The award was established is in honor and memory of Bruce McDaniel, one of the founders of UMCVB. McDaniel was the President of the Quad Cities CVB when he suggested creating UMCVB. He was a strong supporter of education and also realized that the Midwest CVBs needed an opportunity to continually learn about the tourism industry. He and Bill Geist, an industry consultant, proposed the idea to create UMCVB in 1996. The first conference was held in Dubuque, IA in September 1997. McDaniel passed away unexpectedly just four months later.