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Yukon honors Leonard for service

Steve Leonard

From left: Steve Le Jay Whitfield, General Manger, Westmark Beaver Creek; Linda Gould, General Manager, Westmark Inn Dawson City; Heather McIntyre, General Manager, Westmark Whitehorse Hotel; Frank Curlew , General Manager, Westmark Klondike Inn; and Steve Leonard, seated.

Holland America’s Steve Leonard received the Yukon Territory’s highest tourism award this spring for 30 years of service to the visitor industry.

The Tourism Industry Association of Yukon presented Leonard with the prestigious Yukon Tourism Ambassador Award on April 28. This title is only awarded under exceptional circumstances to recipients who have demonstrated excellence in product quality, standards and development of the Yukon Tourism Industry, according to Blake Rogers, Executive Director of Yukon Tourism Industry Association.

“In Yukon, we have pretty clear guidelines for what it takes to become a sourdough,” Rogers said. “The fact that tonight’s recipient is considered to be one of us without ever having lived in the Yukon is a rare achievement and one that speaks to the incredible commitment and dedication he has shown to our Tourism Association over the years.’

Leonard plans to retire next month after a distinguished career of running the Westmark Hotels, the largest hotel group in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. A subsidiary of Holland America, the group once operated 11 hotels in 10 communities.

Leonard had become a familiar face in the Yukon since his first visit in 1982. He served as president of the Yukon Tourism Industry Association and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Click here to see the award presentation.

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