LANSING, Mich. - The Team Lansing Foundation and the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau are pleased to recognize Zach Smith, Front Desk Agent with the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, as the 2011 Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year. The announcement was made at the First Annual Greater Lansing Certified Tourism Ambassador Star Awards held last week at the Lansing Center.

"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 W. Lee Hladki, President of the GLCVB and Executive Director of the Team Lansing Foundation. "Zach exemplifies the goals of the CTA program by showing confidence in interactions with guests, dedication to premium customer service, pride in our region and establishing credibility within our industry."

The Greater Lansing Certified Tourism Ambassador program, which began in August of 2010, 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 350 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.