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MICHAEL OWENS

Owens: Tourism awards honor those who make Savannah shine

For 20 years, the Tourism Leadership Council has honored some of the best and brightest stars in the tourism and hospitality community through the Tourism Awards and Scholarship Dinner. Over the years, we have expanded our awards to grow with our tourism industry, and refined our selection process for our award winners.

Owens: Job fair offers chance to advance

I’ve written before that workforce development is one of the best and most important investments that this entire community can make.

Michael Owens: Savannah becoming year-round destination

Those who have lived here for many years remember a time when spring was the busiest time for visitors in Savannah. From St. Patrick’s Day until the summer heat of June was peak season, but in November and December things slowed down considerably. In 2009, just 18 percent of guests visited in the fourth quarter of the year.

Owens: Chef Vendeville, others bring area food scene to new high

In a previous column, I wrote about the benefit that the Savannah Food &Wine Festival brings to our community. With each passing year, the festival grows even more popular among residents and visitors alike.

Owens: Thanks must go to Savannah’s strong tourism community

As we prepare to return from the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take some time to reflect and be thankful for all that we have.

Owens: Thank you from Savannah Food & Wine Festival

It’s the last few days of the Savannah Food &Wine Festival, and we’ve had hundreds of people enjoying top chef and top shelf food and wine.

Owens: Don’t be a hidden gem

If you’ve ever been called a “hidden gem,” from a marketing sense, this is not a compliment. In the role of business, you don’t want to be a hidden gem. You want to be “all the rage.”

Owens: Celebrating an unsung civil servant

Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez announced last week that Marty Johnston would be named as the chief operating officer for the city of Savannah.

Owens: Starting in tourism earns you more money

A dear friend of mine in the medical field always knew he wanted to practice medicine. His first job was in hospitality. Then, all through college and medical school, he worked in restaurants.

Owens: Celebrate 5th anniversary of Savannah Food & Wine Festival

If you’re like me, you have a five-year plan. And, there’s nothing more exhilarating that seeing that plan come to reality.

Owens: ‘Lift Every Voice’ brings free museum admission, history for all

Tomorrow, you have an amazing opportunity in this city for free education, and it’s one you don’t want to miss.

Michael Owens: Place value on customer service reviews — or lack thereof

In this day and age, businesses live and die by reviews—especially in tourism. A positive review can bring more customers. A negative review can teach us where our weaknesses lie.

Owens: Local tourism education programs could keep talent here

The Tourism Leadership Council supports the pursuit of education with annual scholarships to those who are studying hospitality and tourism.

Owens: In customer service, L.A.S.T. comes first

If you’re thinking about a business that you’d like to start someday, the first thing you think about is not usually your customer service culture.

Michael Owens

Owens: Collaboration, transparency keys to balance, civic health

At the very foundation of our democracy lies the idea that we work together for the greater good. This presupposes that we all get to take an active role as citizens.

Owens: Invest time in young people at summer jobs

On Memorial Day Weekend, we honor all Americans who died while in the military service, and it’s also the unofficial start to the summer vacation.

OWENS: Tourism brings gains for individuals, teams, communities

Tourism is sometimes seen as a monolith. As someone who has been in hospitality and tourism my whole life, I can assure you it’s not. It’s made up of people, small business owners, entrepreneurs and a host of other characters.

OWENS: Nurture Savannah’s healthy arts culture

It’s easy to take things for granted. I feel like I do this all of the time. I take for granted the weather, the proximity to the beach, the availability of tomatoes year-round. We have so much to be thankful for.

Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (John Alexander Photography)

OWENS: Small things add up for big environmental impact

When it comes to making changes in our community, I really believe that it takes a series of small actions we do that add up to the overall big changes.

OWENS: Come, rediscover downtown

There are roughly 27,000 people who work in tourism in Savannah who are taking a deep breath today. They’re breathing deeply, gearing up for tourism’s peak season. Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day kicks off a new season for us. As the parade has wrapped up another year, everyone is girding up for peak season. It’s here, and we’re ready.