Herb Douglas Receives Bob Imperata Passion for Pittsburgh Award

Partner of the Year Awards Also Announced

Herb Douglas, a 1948 Olympic Bronze medalist and former University of Pittsburgh student-athlete, has been named the 2020 VisitPITTSBURGH Bob Imperata Passion for Pittsburgh Award recipient.

The award is bestowed yearly to an individual, group or organization who displays a passion for Pittsburgh and a passion for promoting our great city. This prestigious honor, along with VisitPITTSBURGH’s Partners of the Year winners, traditionally has been announced at the organization’s annual meeting, which had to be postponed until a later date.

Douglas, a Pittsburgh native and the oldest living African American Olympic medalist, has been a staunch advocate for his hometown and for the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a multi-sport athlete in track and field and football. Douglas won multiple intercollegiate championships in the long jump and the 100-yard dash, as well as three National Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Championships, before graduating in 1948. Later that year, he captured the Bronze medal in the long jump at the 1948 London Summer Olympic Games.


“It has been a great honor of mine to meet and to get to know Mr. Douglas,” SportsPITTSBURGH Executive Director Jennifer Hawkins said. “His passion for the University of Pittsburgh’s track and field program and the development of the university’s new venues is reason enough to win this award. But, it is his undying support for Pittsburgh’s youngest runners and the people of his childhood neighborhood, Hazelwood, that make me most proud to present Mr. Douglas with the Bob Imperata Passion for Pittsburgh Award. Spending time with him is one of my greatest Pittsburgh Iconic Experiences.”

The co-founder of the Jesse Owens International Trophy Award and the Jesse Owens Global Award for Peace, Douglas was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame in 1990. He also was a member of the University of Pittsburgh Hall of Fame Inaugural Class in 2018.

“Herb Douglas is a Pitt and Pittsburgh treasure,” University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke said. “As an Olympic medalist, accomplished business professional and certainly as a human being, Herb embodies the very best of our university and the city it calls home. He has been such a tremendous ambassador, and I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the Bob Imperata Passion for Pittsburgh Award.”

The Bob Imperata Passion for Pittsburgh award is named after the long-time former executive of VisitPITTSBURGH.

VisitPITTSBURGH also is happy to announce the winners of its 2019 Partner of the Year Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the region’s business, sports and travel and tourism industry.

“We work with so many fantastic partners throughout the year who help bring business events and sports events to the Pittsburgh region, as well as assist in the promotion of our great city,” Executive Vice President/Interim CEO Jerad Bachar said. “I thank each of them for their partnership, friendship and work they do on behalf of Pittsburgh.”

MeetPITTSBURGH Partner of the Year Award

This award recognizes exemplary teamwork, dedication and enthusiastic energy to ensure the success and lasting, positive impression of Pittsburgh-hosted meetings and conventions. Kim Sarkady of the American Trucking Associations received this year’s honor for her enthusiastic commitment and partnership with Pittsburgh as a premiere meeting destination.

SportsPITTSBURGH Partner of the Year Award

This award recognizes exemplary teamwork, dedication and enthusiastic energy to ensure the success and lasting, positive impression of Pittsburgh-hosted sports events. Jennifer Tuscano of the University of Pittsburgh Athletics received this year’s honor for delivering an Iconic Experience to student-athletes and fans during the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at PPG Paints Arena.

Marketing Partner of the Year Award

This award recognizes partners that aid in VisitPITTSBURGH’s efforts to promote the Pittsburgh region to the world. Mitch Swain of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council received this year’s honor for outstanding support of VisitPITTSBURGH’s marketing efforts, including partnering on the 90 Painted Chairs Program.

Destination Services Partner of the Year Award

This award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to the success of the region’s convention and meetings industry. Megs Yunn of Beverly’s Birthdays received this year’s honor for providing PCMA attendees with a unique and outstanding community outreach experience during Convening Leaders 2019.

Partnership Development Partner of the Year Award

This award recognizes leadership, service and dedication to industry colleagues and advancing VisitPITTSBURGH’s efforts to market the Pittsburgh region. Pittsburgh Brewing Company received this year’s honor for always going above and beyond the call of duty in supplying specialty products for partner events.

As the official tourism promotion agency for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, VisitPITTSBURGH is dedicated to generating conventions, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.

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