March 22, 2012

National Scenic Byway Foundation Presents First Lifetime Achievement Award

The National Scenic Byway Foundation presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to founding member, Teresa Mitchell, CEO of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, as part of its War of 1812 Quilt Challenge Weekend Event at the Seaway Discovery Center, Sackets Harbor, NY. Deb Divine, Co-Executive Director of the Foundation, presented the award to Teresa’s husband, Joel Mitchell, her children, Marci and Michael, and grandchildren, Libby, Lauren and Aiden at the event.

Alexander "Pope" Vickers, Chairman of the Seaway Trail Foundation and Hospitality and Tourism Professor at Jefferson Community College, Watertown, NY, was master of ceremonies and described Teresa’s role in developing the quilt show as a cultural tourism event to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The presentation also included a blessing by Father Samuel Lundy, who was attired in 1812 period dress of an Anglican priest; comments from Aileen Martin, Seaway Trail Foundation Board Member, who celebrated Teresa’s work with the Great Lakes Seaway Trail; and comments by Greg Marshall, Senior Vice-President and Director of Marketing with VisitRochester, describing Teresa's legacy and dedication to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail using the six "intrinsic qualities" concept from the National Scenic Byways Program to depict Teresa’s passion, vision, commitment, resourcefulness, directness and patience.

Deb briefly described Teresa's role in starting the National Scenic Byway Foundation and recognized her willingness to explore and share new ways for all byways to succeed. Deb also related the fact that she and Teresa not only shared a love of byways, they also shared a love of quilts. Some of Teresa’s quilts served as the backdrop for the presentation.

Forsyth’s Rifles re-enactors from the Fort La Presentation Association in Ogdensburg, NY, rifleman, Dana Denhoff, and fife player, Robin Duncan, stood as sentries throughout the presentation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will now be called the Teresa Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award.