Various categories recognized include leadership, teamwork, service, and dedication

PASO ROBLES — Travel Paso announced the winners of the inaugural “Travel Paso Hospitality and Tourism Awards” last week during “California Tourism Month,” coinciding with the state’s Visit California initiative to celebrate the impact tourism has on the state’s economy. Alongside “National Travel & Tourism Week,” the new local Travel Paso initiative honors local businesses and individuals displaying extraordinary leadership in creating an impact on Paso Robles as a tourism destination. The various categories recognized include leadership, teamwork, service, and dedication.

“Our community continues to flourish. Tourism develops leaders and recognizes individuals who support the innovative businesses making up our ecosystem. This new program recognizes the incredible local talent right here in the community,” said Travel Paso President and CEO Stacie Jacob.

Tourism matters in Paso Robles in the form of jobs, economic impact and quality of life. One in five local residents work in a tourism-related field that’s 22,830 jobs countwide. Travel spending contributes $2.32 billion to the SLO CAL economy and makes up 10.66 percent of the countywide GDP.


Nominations were called for in January and a panel of local tourism experts in the industry were involved in the selection process after nominations closed in March.

“This new program celebrates the importance of the tourism economy and the people who create special memories for our guests.” said Chairman of the Board Alex Villicana. “Hospitality as its finest is a key part of our marketing story. I congratulate this year’s winners.”

Recipients for the 2024 Travel Paso Hospitality & Tourism Awards were awarded for unwavering hospitality and commitment to creating guest experiences that are above and beyond expectation, and working towards achieving the Travel Paso vision: to see the region as an authentic and welcoming experience for visitors and residents alike. The 2024 award recipients are as follows:

  • Visitor Experience (Lodging) — Farmhouse Paso
  • Visitor Experience (Winery) — John Morris, Tablas Creek Vineyard
  • Visitor Experience (Hospitality) — Sensorio
  • Visitor Experience (Restaurant) TIE — Jason Santos, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery and Seferino De La Cruz, The Hatch

Also presented at the awards ceremony were recognitions for three categories of industry leaders: “Emerging Leaders,” “Tourism Champion,” and “Distinguished Leaders.”

All three were recognized for continually working towards achieving the Travel Paso vision: to see the region as an authentic and welcoming experience for visitors and residents alike.

Emerging Leader Awards were awarded for unwavering hospitality and for demonstrating the skills, talent, attitude and initiative that are the hallmarks of an emerging leader.

  • John Seals, LXV Wine

The Tourism Champion was awarded to an individual who stands out in the local tourism industry for being a positive force that sets the bar and represents our region over and beyond. The Tourism Champion is an active tourism partner, who is integrated throughout the community.

  • Chanda Brown, Cass Winery

Distinguished Leader Awards are chosen by Travel Paso Board of Directors and recognized for a lifetime of service intourism and hospitality.

  • Gary Eberle 
  • Shirley Masia (posthumously) 
  • Mayor Steve Martin (posthumously) 
  • Tom Martin (posthumously) and Noreen Martin-Hulburd 

For more information and background on each of the award categories, visit