Photo credit: James Montanus 

Visit Rochester is pleased to announce that Don Jeffries, the organization’s President & CEO, has been recognized with two significant industry and career achievement awards. Jeffries is the recipient of the Tourism Executive of the Year award from the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association, as well as the Icon Honors award from the Rochester Business Journal.

Don Jeffries Headshot 2019

Don first joined Visit Rochester as president and CEO in 2013. During his tenure with the organization Don has proudly worn the title of “Rochester’s Chief Cheerleader.” Jeffries has led Visit Rochester to develop new strategies to market and sell Rochester as a preferred destination, in order to grow and maximize visitor spending to enhance the economy.

Outstanding Tourism Executive of the Year

Jeffries is the recipient of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association’s (NYSH&TA) 2019 Outstanding Tourism Executive of the Year award. Jeffries will be recognized at the Association’s 2019 Stars of the Industry Awards Gala at Rivers Casino – The Landing Hotel in Schenectady, NY on Monday, November 4.

The program recognizes the exemplary professionalism and exceptional service of individuals in the hospitality and tourism industry. The Outstanding Tourism Executive of the Year award recognizes an executive who has demonstrated outstanding contributions of leadership and service to the industry and to his/her community.

“Every year, the state’s hospitality industry nominates its most outstanding employees. After reviewing all the nominations submitted, the judges agreed that Don Jeffries was the best of the best,” said NYSH&TA President Mark Dorr. “All the winners of this year’s awards are STARS in every sense of the word and shining examples of what New York State hospitality and tourism is all about.”

Rochester Business Journal ICON Award

Jeffries has also been selected by the Rochester Business Journal as a recipient of the 2019 Icon Honors award.

Established in 2017, Icon Honors recognizes Rochester business leaders, over the age of 60, for their notable success and demonstration of strong leadership within and outside their fields. The honorees have moved their businesses and Rochester forward by growing jobs and making a difference in the community.

To be eligible for Icon Honors, honorees (over the age of 60) must have a long-standing commitment to the Rochester business community and significant professional accomplishments through innovation and leadership. Honorees must also be champions of their industries and demonstrate a sustained commitment to community service. They may be in the workforce or retired and must hold or have held senior management-level positions with significant authority in decision-making for their organization.

"The 2019 Icon Honors awardees demonstrate qualities we all aspire to emulate and accomplishments we admire. They are leaders in their respective fields and bring promise to those who benefit from their hard work," said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, group publisher of the Rochester Business Journal. "They also challenge us to realize our hopes and dreams and to meet our own goals. They are examples for all, and the Rochester Business Journal is pleased to recognize them."

The Icon Honors awards will be presented Dec. 9 at a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Genesee Valley Club, 421 East Avenue in Rochester. Winners will be profiled in a special publication that will be inserted into the Dec. 13 issue of the Rochester Business Journal and available online at