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The State of Tourism Gala

& Hospitality Awards

November 16, 2023



Thank you for attending the 2023 State of Tourism Gala & Hospitality Awards on November 16, 2023!

The State of Tourism is designed to honor and celebrate individuals that are making an impact in our community through the Corpus Christi tourism industry. The State of Tourism Gala celebrates excellence in tourism and hospitality and is held in conjunction with the Visit Corpus Christi Annual Meeting.

Stay tuned for more info on the State of Tourism 2024! View the 2023 photo album here.

WATCH: State of Tourism 2023 Recap

Congratulations to the
2023 Tourism & Hospitality Award Finalists


Sales Person of the Year

Sarah Perez – Lively Beach Resort

Amanda Tijerina – Hilton Garden Inn

Jackie Ray – Omni Corpus Christi Hotel


Restaurant of the Year

Elizabeth’s at the Art Museum

Water Street Oyster Bar

Bellino Ristorante


Chef of the Year

John Sambrano – Brewster Street Icehouse – Southside

Nick Ustruck – American Bank Center

Dean Sprague – Omni Corpus Christi Hotel


Server of the Year

Leticia Villegas – Portis Kuntry Kitchen

Whitney Hansen – Water Street Oyster Bar

Dorina Perez Smith – Embassy Suites by Hilton - Corpus Christi​


Bar of the Year

Old Kress Live

Executive Surf Club

Nueces Whiskey Library


Bartender of the Year

Sky Shook – The Annex

Leonard Araiza – Executive Surf Club

Belia Ortega – Texas State Aquarium and Chuy’s


Large Attraction of the Year

USS Lexington Museum on the Bay

Islander Athletics

Texas State Aquarium


Small Attraction of the Year

Blue Shore Pedal Lounge

Harbor Playhouse

Glow Row


Tourism Trailblazer

Starla Shuck – USS Lexington Museum

Leon Burns – Brewster Street Icehouse – Southside

Maggie Freeborn – Corpus Christi Hooks


Front of House

Jericho Dyogi – Omni Corpus Christi Hotel

Louie Contreras – Water Street Restaurants

Rachell Banda – USS Lexington Museum


Heart of the House

Bryce Balusek – American Bank Center

Judy Martinez – Omni Corpus Christi Hotel

Amy Goldson – Harbor Playhouse


Corpus Christi Under 35 Tourism Professional of the Year

Tyler Miller – Corpus Christi International Airport

Marisol Ramirez – Durrill Properties

Breanne Beal – Durrill Properties