- Associated Press - Sunday, September 20, 2015

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association brought its annual awards ceremony to Cullman on Sept. 16, and ended up leaving two major honors with some well-known locals.

Longtime Cullman museum curator Elaine Fuller and Rock the South co-founder Shane Quick walked away with two major category awards at the PEAK Awards, which honor event and tourism leaders in and around north Alabama. The event was held at Stonebridge Farms.

Rock the South won the “Good Neighbor” Friend of Tourism Award, while Fuller was inducted into the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association’s North Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I congratulate all of the honorees,” said Alabama Mountain Lakes President/CEO Tami Reist said. “The PEAK Awards provide an outstanding platform to recognize top performers and industry leaders in tourism and this year’s recipients all have done an excellent job in the marketing and promotions of tourism and travel for the North Alabama region.”

The “Good Neighbor” award won by Rock the South is given to a person or organization whose body of work has had a significant impact on tourism in the past year.

Rock the South is the fastest growing music festival in the Southeast since its creation in 2012, on the one year anniversary of the tornado outbreak that devastated Cullman and the state of Alabama. In 2014, over 40,000 people from 40 states attended the festival. Past headliners include Dierks Bentley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band Perry, Brantley Gilbert and Alabama Jackson. Organizers have also donated several thousand dollars to local charities.

“The name of the award is the ‘Good Neighbor’ award, and that is one of our main goals, for Rock The South to be like a family member to the people of Cullman County and north Alabama,” he said. “To get this award really is a big win for us, and shows we’re accomplishing what we’ve set out to be in this area.”

Fuller was one of three longtime tourism leaders inducted into the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association’s North Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame, joined by Judy Ryals (Huntsville/Madison County CVB) and Susann Hamlin (Colbert County TCB).

The hall of fame is designed to recognize and honor those who have been long supporters of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and who have made significant contributions to the tourism and travel industry over time.

Fuller is executive director of the Cullman County Museum, and has spent decades promoting the museum and the City of Cullman. During her tenure, the museum has incorporated sound- activated audio and visual displays and featured a custom exhibit in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. She was also a key leader in developing the modern-day Cullman Oktoberfest.

A message left for Fuller seeking comment on the honor was not immediately returned.

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Information from: The Cullman Times, http://www.cullmantimes.com

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