Visit Rochester is proud to announce the organization and its staff are recipients of three recent New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) Tourism Excellence Awards. Award recipients were recognized at a ceremony in New York City on October 25, 2022.

The New York State Tourism Excellence Awards in particular acknowledge the work done in contributing to the recovery and resurgence of New York State’s tourism industry and the communities that they serve.


Don Jeffries Staff Photo

Don Jeffries, Visit Rochester president & CEO, received with the Excellence in Leadership: Career/Lifetime Achievement. 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.

As a leader for his team, Don’s energy and enthusiasm for all things Rochester is infectious. Don is the type of leader who knows firsthand the value of building a strong team, and giving his employees the tools that they need to grow, develop and continue to achieve great things for Rochester. Over the course of his career, Don has mentored many members of the community and industry, including his two sons.


Diana Keating 2020 Headshot 2

Diana Keating, Director of Tourism & Marketing, is the recipient of the 2022 Excellence in Young Professional Leadership award.

Keating started at Visit Rochester in 2013 as an administrative manager. She quickly rose into new roles and responsibilities at Visit Rochester, serving as the Manager, Market Programs before a promotion to her current role as Director of Tourism & Marketing in 2019.

Diana’s work extends far beyond Visit Rochester. She has led and managed several co-op marketing programs engaging partners throughout the Greater Rochester community, the Finger Lakes and New York State. Most notably, Diana is the current chair of the international tourism marketing organization Wine, Water & Wonders of New York State. This entity is responsible for one of the largest marketing programs to attract international travelers to New York State. In her role as chair, Diana is responsible for the coordination and management of partners and assets across New York State – from Niagara Falls to Nassau County, and everything in between. In this role, Diana represents not just Visit Rochester, but New York State as a whole, to travel buyers around the world.


Bordering on UnbelievableBordering on Monumental

In addition to the individual awards for Jeffries and Keating, Visit Rochester’s Canadian Tourism Campaign, Bordering On, has been awarded the Excellence in Tourism Marketing Campaigns, Projects & Programs: Niche Marketing award.

With the border reopening, Visit Rochester had the opportunity to reintroduce the destination to a Canadian audience with new messaging, bold creative and a Rochester-centric campaign. Work began on the campaign in spring 2021, with campaign elements and tactics ready to be deployed the moment the border finally reopened. The creative theme for the new campaign “Bordering On,” spoke to the idea that just south of the U.S.-Canadian border is a destination filled with art, culture, outdoor experiences, award-winning food, drink and so much more – just waiting to be discovered.

The New York State Tourism Excellence Awards are juried by an impartial panel of industry experts under the auspices of the New York State Tourism Industry Association. Nominees spanned every corner of New York State, and the judges were challenged by the diversity and quality of the entries.

“Working collaboratively in New York State’s tourism community enables you to network with some of the best minds, most experienced individuals, and trendsetting thought leaders in the global tourism industry,” states Bob Provost, President of the New York State Tourism Industry Association. “The individuals, campaigns, initiatives, and projects being honored are world-class. I am humbled by their achievements and service to their communities.”


About New York State Tourism Industry Association:
The New York State Tourism Industry Association advances economic growth, job creation, community revitalization, quality of life and pride of place by realizing the potential of New York State's tourism industry and facilitating the success of its members. We serve New York State's tourism industry through collaborative initiatives, research, legislative awareness, and exceptional marketing.


Visit Rochester is the official tourism promotion agency for Greater Rochester and Monroe County. Visit Rochester is a membership organization with over 430 members representing, lodging, retail, restaurants, services, and community organizations. Working together with our members and partners, our mission is to sell and market Greater Rochester as a preferred destination in order to grow and maximize visitor spending and to enhance the economy.