NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Contact: Laurie McConnell
Idaho Commerce – Tourism Development
2020 Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Recreation and Tourism Presented to John May
Boise, Idaho – Oct. 22, 2020 – John May was presented the 2020 Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Recreation and Tourism during the virtual Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism workshop today.
Now a real estate agent for Group One Sotheby’s International Realty in Garden Valley, Mr. May got his start in the hospitality industry at an early age working as a bellman and valet at The Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. He continued to work in full service hotels in Los Angeles, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, Boise, ID, and Kauai, HI. In addition to working in many restaurants, he also worked with his father, Larry May, a recognized hotelier, and ran the Crystal Ballroom Catering business and Hennesseys Restaurant at the top of the Hoff Building in Boise.
“John’s passion for the outdoors and commitment to promoting Idaho is second to none,” said Idaho Governor Brad Little. “His innovative marketing ideas, collaborative spirit, and endless enthusiasm have helped to expand and improve the recreation and tourism industries across our state.”
In 1993, an investment group that included John’s father, Larry, purchased the Owyhee Plaza Hotel in Boise. Mr. May worked at the Owyhee Plaza, later becoming a part owner and serving as General Manager until 2013. After the hotel was sold, he took the helm of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association (IOGA) as Executive Director, a position well suited to his love of outdoor recreation. Mr. May reflects positively on his time with the IOGA, saying it was a huge honor to help the organization promote all the outdoor activites that make Idaho such a special state.
“The beautiful thing about growing up in the hospitality and tourism business is the amazing people you meet all over the country,” said May. “Sharing experiences over food and drink help to make places more relatable and bring people together. I’m happy to have played a part in that over the years.”
Mr. May also served six years on the Idaho Travel Council, two years as Chairman. His most fond memories are having the opportunity to travel to every corner of our great state. He is especially proud of being part of a council that focuses on and supports tourism promotion in Idaho communities large and small.
Committed to his community and the tourism and hospitality industry, Mr. May was active in associations and served on a number of boards. He was a member of the Capital City Development Corporation board of directors, serving as chairman from 2008 to 2012; the Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association, serving as president from 1998 to 1999 and 2005 to 2006; the Humanitarian Bowl Council (now the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl); the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce board of directors; the Treasure Valley Lodging Association board of directors and executive committee; the Downtown Boise Association board of directors and executive committee, serving as president from 1998 to 1999; the American Hotel and Motel Association board of directors; and the Skål International Boise board of directors and executive committee.
Mr. May and his wife Jenny have two daughters Brooke and Karlee, and son-in-law Greg, Karlee’s husband. The Mays live full time in the mountains of Garden Valley, ID and enjoy spending family time together rafting, fishing and exploring Idaho’s beautiful outdoors.