Charlotte County Resident and Professional Football Player Anthony Hargrove to Keynote Event; Becky Bovell, Former Director of Tourism to be Inducted into Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame

CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (May 01, 2014) – Members of the Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands tourism community will come together to celebrate “Tourism in Motion” during a unity breakfast at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 15 at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Fla. The event will emphasize the importance of the sports industry in the destination. Charlotte County resident and professional football player Anthony Hargrove will keynote the event. Becky Bovell, former Tourism Director for the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, will be inducted into the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame.

Cost to attend the May 15 breakfast is $20 per person. Members of the tourism industry are invited to attend and can do so by registering online at chgi.eventbrite.com or by calling (941) 764-4940 no later than May 9, 2014.

Keynote Speaker Anthony Hargrove
Anthony Hargrove, a graduate of Port Charlotte High School who played his collegiate football at Georgia Tech, was selected 91st overall in the 2004 NFL draft by the St Louis Rams and played with them 2004-2006. In 2006 he was traded to the Buffalo Bills and played with the team until 2008 when he joined the New Orleans Saints where he played until 2011. During his time with the Saints, they won Super Bowl XLIV. In 2011, Hargrove played for the Seattle Seahawks. 

Hargrove won the Ed Block Courage award in 2009. The recipient is chosen by teammates and awarded to someone who exemplifies a commitment to courage and sportsmanship.

“I remember as a child how important individuals were in the development of me as man. I enjoy being a positive confirmation for kids that anything and everything is possible,” said Hargrove. “There is nothing more moving than when a child makes the decision to change their life for the better and thanks you along the way.”

Anthony retired from professional sports two years ago.

Becky Bovell to be Inducted into the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame
Established this year, the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame was created to honor people whose body of work in support of tourism has been both exceptional and diverse.

“It’s only appropriate Becky Bovell be selected as the first inductee into the Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame,” said Lorah Steiner, Director of Tourism for the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “Becky was instrumental in developing the Bureau from a fledgling office with one staff member to a robust, award-winning destination marketing organization during her nine-year tenure.”

Bovell’s career included service in the U.S. Senate, the White House and has provided leadership in the tourism arena for 25 years including 16 years as Deputy Director of Tourism for the State of Rhode Island and nine years in the Charlotte County position.

Jimmy Dean, publisher of Harbor Style magazine, will serve as the luncheon’s emcee.

Each year, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County. In addition to generating economic contributions, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or eco-tourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors.

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014 Port Charlotte has been named the top U.S. Best Value Destination by trivago, the world’s largest online hotel search site, and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PDG) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

For more information on visiting Charlotte Harbor visit www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com or call 1-800-652-6090.

CONTACTS:

Jennifer Huber
Tourism Public Relations Manager
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
(941) 743-1900
Jennifer.Huber@CharlotteFL.com

Mary Jane Kolassa / Cindy Dobyns
Above Water Public Relations & Marketing
(407) 463-0040 / (239) 596-9149
MJKolassa@AboveWater.com  / CDobyns@AboveWater.com

Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932
www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com