Sabrina Flores
Discover Albany


April 20, 2021



Award recognition and 2021 grant recipients announced at Discover Albany’s Annual Celebration of Hospitality Excellence

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 20, 2021) – Discover Albany, Albany County’s convention and visitors bureau, will hold its 2021 Annual Celebration of Hospitality Excellence at the Albany Capital Center on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 3 p.m. The event also serves as the bureau’s annual meeting.

Dominick Purnomo, wine director & co-owner of Yono’s & dp An American Brasserie, will be recognized as this year’s recipient of the Professor Anthony J. Strianese Hospitality Excellence Award. Discover Albany will also announce the recipients of the 2021 Michele L. Vennard Hospitality Grant, with a combined total of more than $44,000 distributed among 13 different organizations. In addition, industry experts will offer information on best practices for successful events post-Covid and recovery projections.

Attendance requires tickets that can be purchased via Eventbrite. Tickets for in-person attendence must be purchased by Wednesday, April 21. Online tickets for virtual attendence will be available to purchase until Monday, April 26.

“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 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.

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.

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

To purchase tickets via Eventbrite, visit

For more information about the 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