Sabrina Flores
Discover Albany


April 29, 2021

Over $44,000 given to arts & tourism organizations, Dominick Purnomo recognized with Hospitality Excellence Award

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 29, 2021) – Discover Albany, Albany County’s convention and visitors bureau, held its 2021 Annual Celebration of Hospitality Excellence at the Albany Capital Center on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The event also served as the bureau’s annual meeting.

Discover Albany announced the recipients of the 2021 Michele L. Vennard Hospitality Grant, with a combined total of more than $44,000 distributed among 13 different organizations. Recipiants included the Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany County Historical Association, Old Songs, Park Playhouse and more.

The Michele L. Vennard Hospitality grants are given in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region to organizations creating programs combining art & tourism. Named after the former longtime president and CEO of Discover Albany, recipients are chosen by the Discover Albany board of directors. The grant fund, managed by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, supports programs that aid in building and sustaining Albany County tourism destinations, attractions, events and tourism-related activities. The grants encourage collaboration between nonprofit organizations, community groups and hospitality businesses to further extend the economic impact of tourism and business.

Grant Recipients include the following:


  • Albany Center Galleries for the Third Annual Capital Walls Mural Bike Tours
  • Albany County Historical Association for the Immersion in History: Ten Broeck Visitor Experience Improvements & Program
  • Albany Institute of History & Art for the Fashionable Frocks of the 1920s Marketing Support
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra for the American Music Festival Pop-Up Performance in Albany
  • Corporation for the Museum of Political Corruption for using Interactivity to Teach and Engage Museumgoers
  • Friends Of Pruyn House for the Old Fashioned Sunday
  • Historic Cherry Hill for completing Catherine Rankin’s master bedroom
  • Old Songs, Inc. for 2021 Virtual Old Songs Festival
  • Park Playhouse for 33rd Season Year-Round Programming
  • Pine Hollow Arboretum for The Magnolia Boardwalk
  • Sage Colleges for Opalka Gallery 2021 Season
  • Shaker Heritage Society for Museum Exhibit Redesign – Virtual and Onsite
  • Siena College for Living Museum Project

Dominick Purnomo, wine director & co-owner of Yono’s & dp An American Brasserie, was also recognized as this year’s recipient of the Professor Anthony J. Strianese Hospitality Excellence Award. The Professor Anthony J. Strianese Hospitality Excellence Award, also referred to as “The Toby,” is named after the late Professor Strianese, an instructor and chair of SUNY Schenectady’s School of Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism and co-author of several hospitality textbooks. The award gives special recognition to travel business as an integral part of this region's economy. While there are many regional awards, The Toby is devoted solely to highlighting those who represent the peak of planning, execution, and professionalism within the travel industry. This award will continue to honor travel and hospitality entities for their leaders who display the core ideals of the industry and the role they play in our regional economy.

“Discover Albany is thrilled to be able to honor the work that Dominick has done throughout this last year to support our community through Feed Albany,” said Jill Delaney, president and CEO of Discover Albany. “While there is no way to truly demonstrate just how greatly our board and partners appreciate his service, The Toby award is a genuine token that we hope he finds meaningful.”

“As someone who long admired Toby’s life and career I’m honored to win an award based on his legacy,” said Dominick Purnomo. “Thank you for recognizing the tireless hard work of the hundreds of volunteers who have selflessly given and continue to give their service to Feed Albany over the last year. I’m humbled to accept this honor on behalf of our board and founding members, our staff and everyone in the community who has gotten us to the point we are today. Our hope is that Feed Albany will inspire others to serve our community and to spread love and hospitality.”

In March of 2020, amid the emerging COVID-19 global pandemic, Purnomo co-founded FEEDALBANY which has provided meals for those who are in need and at risk in the community over the last year, especially those who work in hospitality. 

The event was sponsored by the Albany Capital Center, Albany Parking Authority, and the Albany Convention Center Authority.

For the full list of grant revipiants, or for more information about Discover Albany, visit


About Discover Albany. The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. Today, the organization is known as Discover Albany. Discover Albany currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. Discover Albany also operates the Discover Albany Visitors Center and the Albany International Airport Information Center.  The Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation was established in 1993 to provide educational opportunities and work with other organizations to secure grants and funding to advance regional travel and tourism projects.  For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit