From left to right: Virginia M. Sheridan (Managing Partner, Finn Partners), Stacy Ritter (President & CEO, GFLCVB) and Richard Gray (Vice President, LGBT+ Marketing, GFLCVB), accepting awards on behalf of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Ground-breaking Transgender Marketing Campaign Recognized with Gold and Platinum Awards

NEW YORK – February 26, 2018 – The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) presented the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and its national public relations agency Finn Partners with Gold and Platinum Adrian Awards for Public Relations Excellence for its winning entries in the 61st annual Adrian Awards, the largest and most prestigious global hospitality industry marketing competition. 

The HSMAI awards were received for a groundbreaking Transgender Marketing Campaign by the Bureau that represented a first-of-its kind hospitality industry initiative and garnered significant coverage in mainstream and LBGT+ media.  

“We are honored to receive these awards and to be recognized by our peers for innovative marketing,” said Stacy Ritter, president/CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “We are an open-heart, open-mind destination that welcomes everyone regardless of race, religion or sexual preference.  While awards are wonderful, we are just as pleased that we have been instrumental in helping to create a better understanding of the transgender community.” 

A pioneer in diversity marketing, Greater Fort Lauderdale is the first tourism destination to establish a dedicated LGBT+ marketing department with an LGBT+ centric vacation planner and a dedicated CVB website promoting its gay-owned businesses.  In 2016, the destination celebrated marriage equality in Florida with an award-winning “Love is Love” sunrise wedding for 100 couples, corresponding to the destination’s 100th anniversary.  These initiatives laid the platform for the launch of a comprehensive, first-ever hospitality industry “Transgender Travel” survey to inform the CVB and the local hospitality industry on the needs of the transgender market and to incorporate these findings into a global transgender marketing campaign with advertising, public relations and social media.

“I’m humbled to be part of an organization that believes so strongly in diversity,” said the Bureau’s VP, LGBT+ Marketing, Richard Gray.   “We are globally recognized for the work we are doing that is beyond anything being undertaken in the public/private sector.  We will continue to be innovative and inclusive in our marketing.” 

The HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala attracted nearly 1,000 attendees and a field of more than 1,200 entries from around the world.

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About Greater Fort Lauderdale
From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a vibrant cosmopolitan vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping.

For more information, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit Get social and engage with Greater Fort Lauderdale on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest: @visitlauderdale.

Media Contacts:
Jessica Savage
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Tel: 954-767-2444

Luz Castillo
Finn Partners 
Tel: 954-368-9811