The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau is ready with their annual Big Wave Awards. 

A special ceremony and dinner will be held next month, October 17th at the Sheraton of Eatontown.  The awards represent the hard work and dedication from local businesses, community leaders and other people who work to make a difference in promoting tourism.

Now in its third year, the event open to the public, is to recognize individuals, businesses and organizations who have had and immense impact on New Jersey Shore's tourism, economic development and the community.

Executive Director Robert Hilton says "these are great ways to show our thanks and appreciation.  We know that spreading the word isn't always an easy task.  These people have done a great job in getting people to come back year after year to the Jersey Shore and enjoy what it has to offer."

The following information comes from a news release sent to us by Hilton.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Barbara Steele
"This award is presented to the person who has been a long standing figure who has had an immense impact on NJ Shore tourism."

Barbara Steele spent 38 years working for the county and was a tireless advocate for tourism and what Ocean County has to offer.

Anchor Award:  Monmouth University 1933-2012
"Honoring an individual who has been a force for positive change and an asset to the Jersey Shore community."

The University has been steadfast in its ongoing transformation as a first-choice destination school by progressively raising admission criteria for incoming students and enhancing the quality of its academic programs. Within its student body, 29 states and 28 foreign nations are represented.

Rising Tide Award: Joe LoBello of Driven By Excellence
"Honoring an individual or organization that, although new to the Jersey Shore, has quickly made an exceptional impact on tourism."

Driven by Excellence is a unique concept in the limousine / transportation industry. Owner Joe LoBello is truly a Jersey Shore enthusiast.  He has supported and promoted our destinations with a passion through his successful Jersey Shore historic tours and has gained international visibility with his awesome Jersey Shore Rock and Roll tour.  Joe has showcased our area, educated visitors, and helped spread his infectious love of our great Jersey Shore Region.  With Joe's drive and direction, he is an ambassador of Jersey Shore's Excellence!

Jersey Shore Icon Award:  Tim McLoone
"Honoring an individual or organization which embodies the essence of the Jersey Shore."

Local Jersey Shore musician Tim McLoone opened his first restaurant, McLoone's Rum Runner, overlooking the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright, New Jersey in 1987.

Spirit of the Shore Award: Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst
"Honoring an individual or organization whose service and commitment to the Jersey Shore goes above and beyond the call of duty."

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is home to all 5 branches of the military.  More than 44,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians, and their family members live and work on and around JB MDL and many of them reside in, and do business within, our Jersey Shore Region.  This installation is the second largest employer in the state of NJ, and welcomes hundreds of new recruits, trainees, government contractors, military and government visitors every year, resulting in a tremendous impact on our tourism and local economy. The Joint Base has demonstrated a genuine interest in its surrounding communities.  They have fostered relationships with local organizations, businesses and civilians so that we may connect with our military neighbors. As one of the greatest destinations in the state of NJ, JB MDL is rich with American history, it's missions and people protect and defend our great country and we are proud and privileged that the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is part of our Jersey Shore community.

For additional questions, call the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 732-244-9283 or click