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MICHAEL OWENS

Owens: Invest time in young people at summer jobs

On Memorial Day Weekend, we honor all Americans who died while in the military service, and it’s also the unofficial start to the summer vacation.

OWENS: Tourism brings gains for individuals, teams, communities

Tourism is sometimes seen as a monolith. As someone who has been in hospitality and tourism my whole life, I can assure you it’s not. It’s made up of people, small business owners, entrepreneurs and a host of other characters.

OWENS: Nurture Savannah’s healthy arts culture

It’s easy to take things for granted. I feel like I do this all of the time. I take for granted the weather, the proximity to the beach, the availability of tomatoes year-round. We have so much to be thankful for.

Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (John Alexander Photography)

OWENS: Small things add up for big environmental impact

When it comes to making changes in our community, I really believe that it takes a series of small actions we do that add up to the overall big changes.

OWENS: Come, rediscover downtown

There are roughly 27,000 people who work in tourism in Savannah who are taking a deep breath today. They’re breathing deeply, gearing up for tourism’s peak season. Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day kicks off a new season for us. As the parade has wrapped up another year, everyone is girding up for peak season. It’s here, and we’re ready.

OWENS: Tourism awards event honors visionary, champion

If you saw the Oscars last week, then you may still be cringing over the mistake at the very end of the show when the announcer mistakenly called the wrong name for the winner of Best Picture.

OWENS: Urban Savannah Chamber celebrates making waves

Surely you have heard of the adage, “A rising tide raises all boats.” It’s something we say in the Tourism Leadership Council office on an almost daily basis. Our organization was built on that saying that if we, as a tourism community — all in our individual boats — will rise, then we all find further success.

OWENS: It’s time to decide how you feel about casinos

Last week, I spent time at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta talking with legislators and meeting with people about some of the items on the legislative agenda this season.

OWENS: Saying goodbye to tourism powerhouse Fredia Brady

This week, I found out that Savannah will be saying goodbye to a powerhouse in the tourism community.

OWENS: Can maintaining facilities help lower crime?

When I talk about the perks of working in hospitality and tourism, I never miss the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite ones: a beautiful working environment.

OWENS: Power of people improved week

It’s been a tough week. Maybe you’ve felt it — a long campaigning season come to a close. We’re all exhausted, and yet, I’m encouraged by the people who rise up to offer help. It’s the power of people, and I’m seeing it in all kinds of ways.

OWENS: Tourism community helps during storm

Sometimes it takes adversity to see how interconnected we are as a community. When Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc across the Southeast, we got to see how the Savannah community stepped up to help.

OWENS: Hidden gem wants to be found

There’s a hidden gem off the coast of Savannah that’s helping protect and conserve our oceans.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary lies just a few miles off the Georgia coast. It’s a special place, but you might not know that it is even there.

OWENS: Good intentions are not always enough

Ever have an idea that will revolutionize a process? Some of you will know what I’m talking about. You’re innovators.

In business, we need innovators and visionaries to come up with the crazy ideas that just might work. But, innovators need to understand that they can’t do this alone. You also need executers.

OWENS: How do you define tourism?

What does tourism mean to you? For some, it means a lucrative career or an entry-level job that provides transferable skills to other fields. For others, it means a vacation from work or the next trip for which they’re saving.

Guillermo Montes with Rosie Soto at Comfort Suites. (Special to the Savannah Morning News)

OWENS: Millennial shoppers want smiles, too

If you look around at the guests who are coming to Savannah, you may notice they’re changing.

Studies have found that more Millennials are traveling than ever before. In fact, there are more Millennials who travel than there are Baby Boomers who travel.

So, in tourism, we’re always asking, what are the needs of the Millennial explorer?

OWENS: This summer, be a guest in your own city

Over the last week, I’ve noticed a lot of people walking through downtown poring over their smartphones. At first, I assumed they were taking photos or using a map for directions. It turns out I was half right.

They were playing Pokemon Go, an app that overlays Pokemon into real-life locations, using their current location through Google Maps.

OWENS: Summer jobs promote good work ethic

What was your first summer job? Most people have a good story about their entryway into the workforce.

Mine was pretty typical. I worked at McDonalds, flipping burgers.

But, I also grew up in a time when summer jobs were more readily available. Today’s youth find it more difficult to find a part-time job, post-recession.