Ruth McKinney Chosen as NTA Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
September 23, 2009
The National Tour Association Board of Directors have chosen Ruth McKinney as this year’s Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement award winner. Established in 2003, the award honors an individual who has had an active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interest of its members while making professional and personal contributions over a span of at least 20 years.
McKinney, formerly of Good Will Tours, had served on the NTA board for three years and remained actively involved with NTA through volunteer committee service over the years. McKinney also served as president of the National Tour Foundation (now Tourism Cares) President and was often found working the silent auction at NTA conventions and mentoring scholarship students. She was elected to the NTF (Tourism Cares) Hall of Fame in 1999 and became an honorary NTA member with her retirement.
"Ruth McKinney had more energy than anyone I’d ever seen at Convention, and we could not have accomplished the Foundation fund raising that we did without her," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "I have fond memories of Ruth spending countless hours mentoring tourism students – they were at the heart of her passion for NTA and its Foundation. Ruth exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism."
Nominations for the award come from members and those who nominated McKinney said that she was a lady of "high integrity" and was "instrumental in making the NTF (Tourism Cares) a viable part" of NTA. One nomination said that "no one worked harder as a volunteer than McKinney." She is seen as a woman who "embodies the qualities which have made NTA what it is today." At Convention, she was known as the woman with an icebreaker badge stating, "Don’t worry, I can’t remember your name either," while hugging and shaking hands with everyone who went through registration.
The award will be presented to McKinney, Sunday, Nov. 15, at the NTA Business Luncheon during NTA Convention ‘09 in Reno, Nevada.
McKinney currently resides in Chanute, Kan. and can still be found volunteering as a member of the local hospital board. She has four children, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.