LANSING, Mich. - The Team Lansing Foundation, along with the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB), is pleased to recognize Malinda Barr, CTA, Director of Sales with the Staybridge Suites Hotel Lansing/Okemos, as the 2015 Greater Lansing Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year. Barr was honored at the fifth annual Greater Lansing Certified Tourism Ambassador Star Awards on December 8th at the View at Cooley Law School Stadium.

"Tourism is about creating experiences and front-line workers can have the biggest impact on making a visitor's time in Greater Lansing memorable," said Jack Schripsema, President of the GLCVB and Executive Director of the Team Lansing Foundation. "Malinda exemplifies the goals of the CTA program by showing confidence in interactions with hotel guests, encouraging them to visit our many community assets and to experience, explore and then welcome others to the Greater Lansing community."

Additionally, the GLCVB recognized the Quality Suites Hotel as CTA Employer of the Year, for encouraging its entire staff to become CTAs. The West Lansing hotel property has done so since the inception of the program in 2010.

The Greater Lansing Certified Tourism Ambassador program aims to equip residents in front-line hospitality and tourism-related positions, such as hotel, local attractions and restaurant employees, with a more in-depth knowledge of the area's many assets so they may help create a more positive and memorable visitor experience. Upon completion of the program curriculum, delivered through reading assignments and one half-day in-class session and exam, participants will receive a thorough education and a nationally recognized certification designation to add to their resume.

While focused on the hospitality community, any interested Greater Lansing resident may enroll. Currently there are over 500 CTA's in the area. The cost for the course is $20 per person, with group rates also available. To access a class schedule and additional information visit


The mission of the Team Lansing Foundation is to champion destination development in Greater Lansing through education, research and participation with initiatives that enhance and elevate the value of the tourism assets within our community.