Congratulations to the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Award Winners!


Karen Arel – President, Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce
Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence

Karen Arel has served as President of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce since 2007. Under her leadership, the chamber has become a vital resource and community member, coordinating signature events and promoting recognition of Ogunquit as a premiere seaside destination. Arel’s efforts have helped garner Ogunquit national recognition, with recent accolades including being named “Best Beach in New England”, a “Top 10 Holiday Place to Celebrate in the US”, and USA Today’s #2 “Best Coastal Small Town”, bringing national attention not only to Ogunquit but to the entire state of Maine.


David L. Berg – Red Apple Campground
Leadership & Growth Award

David Berg is co-owner of Red Apple Campground along with his wife Jane. They have owned and operated the campground for 19 years, offering 140 well-groomed sites, extensive recreational activities, a heated in-ground pool, and delivery of Maine lobsters ready to eat. He has been director of the Maine Campground Owners Association board for 15 years, serving as a resource and support for other Maine campgrounds and helping to build the industry statewide. David serves as a board member of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and the Northeast Campground Association, advocating for Maine wherever he goes. He is also active in his local community and gives back in many ways, supporting area organizations and holding an annual Red Apple Campground fundraiser for Maine Children’s Cancer.


Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerc
Marketing & Promotion Award

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, which serves the  greater Waterville area, has developed an integrated campaign that markets their region as the best small- and large-mouth bass fishing in New England. First approached in 2014 by a professional bass fishing competition interested in filming in Maine, the chamber facilitated a site visit to secure filming of the Major League Fishing Summit Cup, investing financially and coordinating area services. Each 2-hour Outdoor Channel episode had significant ratings, with the final competition episode on CBS attracting 1.1 million viewers. Building on this success, in 2015 the chamber invested in Fishing University, a ½ hour Outdoor Channel program, then in 2016 created a website,, print marketing, and 2 television commercials to be aired in 2017.


Kerry Gallivan – Chimani Inc.
Innovation & Creativity Award

Kerry Gallivan and his Portland-based company, Chimani, are developing cutting edge apps to encourage quality time outdoors. With three Maine-based apps, the Acadia National Park App, the Baxter State Park App, and the Maine Island Trail App, Kerry is bringing visitors and economic impact to his home state, and helping to build support for the parks with future generations. As of December 2016, these three apps had been used by 470,921 people, a third of Chimani’s 1,448,147 total users.  A recent review called his apps “more popular and more highly-reviewed than National Geographic, REI, and official NPS apps”.


Biddeford Mills
Originality Award

In the 1800’s the brick buildings of Biddeford hummed with activity along the banks of the Saco River. The history of the Biddeford mills weaves together the lives and livelihoods of those who came to work in the textile mills, first from New England towns, then from Ireland and Quebec. For 160 years, thousands of workers walked through the mill doors each day. The Biddeford Mills Museum helps preserve this rich heritage, offering group tours with in-person representations that intertwine historical fact with real life experiences, and in 2016 opened a new exhibit with a rich collection of artifacts that highlight the Pepperell Mill’s history, technology and innovation.