x Neighborhoods
All Neighborhoods
Miramar Beach
Dune Allen
Gulf Place
Santa Rosa Beach
Blue Mountain Beach
Grayton Beach
Alys Beach
Rosemary Beach
Inlet Beach
Plan Your Trip
Start Planning Your Trip
Getting Here
Trip Ideas
Beach and Bay Access Locations
Beach Safety
Visitor Center
Travel Guides
Newsletter Signup
Things To Do
Arts & Culture
Culinary Experiences
Outdoors & Nature
Water Activities
Spa & Fitness
All Things To Do
Dine Stay
COVID-19 Travel Updates Vote Perfect Beach Access Meetings Weddings Store Media Travel Guides



About the Award

This annual hospitality award was established in 2003 by the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to encourage and recognize excellence in hospitality service, travel/tourism marketing, advertising, promotion, and contributions to the local community.

The award honors the legacy of service embodied by the Van Ness Butler family who acquired the land now known as Grayton Beach in 1922. The Butler family built the Grayton Beach Hotel and through their family's passion, determination, and energy set the stage for the developing tourism industry.

Following his grandfather's legacy, Van Ness Butler, Jr. served as the first chairman of the Walton County TDC, as interim executive director for two years and on the Tourist Development Council for more than 13 years. This award also honors the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inductees and pioneers of Walton County's hospitality and tourism industries.  

Nominees for the Van Ness Butler Jr., Hospitality Award are judged and awarded for the current year on their initiative, merits and innovation in achieving organizational success and on working with other community businesses or organizations to enhance Walton County's local, national or international standing as a travel destination.  


Visit South Walton is excited to announce the reopening of nominations for the 2020 Van Ness Butler, Jr. Hospitality Award. Nominations are open to any person residing or working in Walton County who has been an outstanding force in promoting tourism and hospitality. The winner will be recognized with an award at the Walton County TDC board meeting on December 1, 2020.

Nominations for the award will be accepted until October 2, 2020. Nominees whose applications were previously submitted in March 2020 will be included for consideration for this award. For the rules of qualification and to download a nomination form, click HERE.

The award winner will be recognized at the Walton County TDC meeting on December 1, 2020.


Award Recipients

  • 2019: Tracy Louthain 
  • 2017: Lino Maldonado
  • 2016: Jennifer Steele
  • 2015: Mike Ragsdale
  • 2014: Jeanne Dailey
  • 2013: Malcolm Patterson
  • 2012: MC Davis
  • 2011: Michael Adkinson
  • 2010: Keith Howard
  • 2009: Walton County Commissioners (Scott Brannon, Sara Comander, Larry Jones, Cecilia Jones, Kenneth Pridgen)
  • 2008: Johnny Earles
  • 2007: Pat Potter
  • 2006: Robert Davis
  • 2005: Don McQuade
  • 2004: Joann Saucier
  • 2003: Van Ness Butler Jr.

Tag Us On Instagram