Memory of business community and tourism leader Doug Yonko honored at golf tourney

The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association will honor the memory of an Arizona business community leader at its annual golf tournament this week while also encouraging the next generation of tourism talent. 

The Doug Yonko Memorial Golf Tournament honors the longtime Hensley Beverage Co. public affairs executive who passed away in September 2020. Yonko was an Arizona business community stalwart, having served in several leadership positions, including as chairman of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Board of Directors from 2012-2013, and as chairman of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

At the time of Yonko’s passing, then Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey commended Yonko for “his immense business acumen, civic engagement and generous willingness to give back to the state he loved so much.” 

Sponsored by HSL Properties, the golf tournament will also feature the announcement of the latest AzLTA scholarship winners. Nine college students from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon University, and Scottsdale Community College will be recognized, one of whom will be awarded the Doug Yonko Scholarship in the amount of $7,500. A portion of the funds raised from this year’s tournament will go toward future scholarships. 

“Doug was a tireless advocate for Arizona tourism and the opportunities it offers the professionals in our field,” Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association President and CEO Kim Grace Sabow said. “It’s a fitting tribute that one of our scholarships is named after Doug.”   

In addition to its annual scholarships to support students planning on careers in tourism, the AzLTA recently launched a new digital tourism jobs hub in partnership with PipelineAZ. Azhospitalitycareers.com brings together students, job seekers, and employers across every part of Arizona’s vibrant hospitality ecosystem to grow the industry’s talent pipeline and to meet the demands of the industry into the future. 

“Tourism is an essential part of Arizona’s success and our brand identity,” Sabow said. “It’s our biggest export, it’s a job creator, and it generates billions for our state’s bottom line. The industry is thriving, but to remain strong and vibrant, we must ensure that we’re cultivating the talent to keep pace with our growth. I would encourage anyone who wants to learn more about the exciting career opportunities that are possible in the tourism industry to visit azhospitalitycareers.com.”

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