Press Release

November 19, 2015

Contact: Margo Carlock, NAI Executive Director 1-888-900-8283

Travis Williams Receives National Award

Travis Williams, Executive Director of the Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway in Holland MI, is the recipient of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Award of Distinction for 2015 The award was presented at NAI’s national workshop on November 13th in Virginia Beach, VA.  The workshop provided participants with professional skills, ideas, and networking opportunities with others in the fields of environmental, cultural, historical, and recreational resources interpretation. This year’s workshop focused on the theme of “Tidewater, where stories ebb and flow”.

This is the first year for this award to be presented.  The NAI Award of Distinction honors members who could not be nominated because of their current service or did not fit into any current award categories. This inaugural Award of Distinction honors NAI members who have significantly furthered the NAI Mission or Vision, distinctly furthered the profession of interpretation, and positively impacted the overall NAI organization.  Four awards were presented this year.

Having been on the NAI Board of Directors and the Director of the Nature Center Directors and Administrators (NCDA) Section, Travis sets the bar high and leads by example to further the profession of heritage interpretation.  Travis filled that important role of communicating between NAI and members. He worked to create an advisory council and helped to revise expectations for sections so they provide useful services to NAI members. When NAI began strategic plan talks, Travis recognized it as a very positive direction by which NAI’s structure could change. He was named to a committee that focused on the restructuring of NAI as an organization. He felt there were issues that existed within the organization as a whole that would be improved through this process. Travis used his leadership and communication skills, planning ability, and diligence to help NAI be at its best so all members would ultimately benefit.

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) professional association for those involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources in settings such as parks, zoos, museums, nature centers, aquaria, botanical gardens, and historical sites. For more than 50 years, NAI and its parent organizations have encouraged networking, training, and collaboration among members and partners in support of our mission: inspiring leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession. NAI’s growing network of members includes volunteers, docents, interpreters, naturalists, historians, rangers, park guards, guides, tour operators, program directors, consultants, academicians, planners, suppliers, and institutions. NAI has 5,500 members in over 30 countries with three international affiliate organizations: NAI-Greece, NAI-Korea, and NAI-China. For more information about the November workshop or the organization, contact NAI Executive Director, Margo Carlock in Ft. Collins, Colorado. (1-888-900-8283) or visit our website:

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Photo: Travis Williams receiving the 2015 NAI Award of Distinction.

Caption:  Travis Williams (left), receiving the 2015 NAI Award of Distinction from NAI President Amy Lethbridge (right) in Virginia Beach, VA on November 13, 2015.

Photo by John Miller, NAI