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Itasca's lodge manager honored

ITASCA STATE PARK - Jim Keller, manager at Douglas Lodge at Itasca State Park, was awarded the 2007 Friend of Tourism award during Explore Minnesota Tourism's annual conference, held in Mankato last week.

Each year, the special recognition award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to Minnesota tourism through a project or sustained initiative. Keller, who has managed Douglas Lodge for the past 17 years, was recognized for his volunteer work with a variety of tourism groups, including the Lake Country Scenic Byway, the Minnesota Heartland Tourism Association Marketing Committee and the University of Minnesota's Central Region Partnership.

"He is full of enthusiasm, which is reflected in his handshake and motto: 'Work hard, play hard, rest hard!'" said award presenter David Bergman. "His knowledge, dedication and especially his vitality on behalf of the Explore Minnesota Tourism Sport Show Program are greatly valued."