New York City (December 19, 2017) — On the evening of Monday, December 18, the NYC & Company Foundation held its 17th annual Visionaries & Voices Gala at the new Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The annual event celebrates iconic individuals and institutions that embody the vibrancy and vitality of New York City. The 2017 event honored The Greatest Showman, a new film from 20th Century Fox; SPE Partners and the new National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey; and the NFL and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group for the new NFL Experience Times Square. A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation, for her past 11 years of dedication at the helm of the national culinary arts organization based in New York City. 

More than 300 guests enjoyed appearances by Tony Award–winning actress Cady Huffman, who served as the evening’s emcee; Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer; and chef and television personality Carla Hall, among others. Guests also experienced musical performances from The Phantom of the Opera, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Broadway in 2018.

“Each year, we honor leaders in our industry whose profound work elevates New York City to a higher collective greatness, and who help make our city the greatest destination in the world,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company President and CEO, and NYC & Company Foundation President and Chair. “We thank our remarkable 2017 honorees for their distinct contributions, as well as those in our industry for their commitment and generous support of the NYC & Company Foundation.”

“The annual Visionaries & Voices Gala supports the NYC & Company Foundation, which aims to keep New York City’s arts and culture community vibrant and diverse,” said Emily Rafferty, President Emerita of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Chairman of NYC & Company. “The travel and tourism industry benefits New York City’s arts community as half of all visitors take part in a cultural activity while here, and we thank our 2017 honorees for helping New York City remain a global draw for visitors.”

The NYC & Company Foundation is a charitable organization that supports the positive impact of tourism on New York City. In 2017, the NYC & Company Foundation provided grant funding for over 50 cultural events and programs across New York City, and supported the development of talent pipelines connecting NYC residents to career paths in the tourism and hospitality industry.

The 2017 Visionaries & Voices awards were accepted on stage by Tonia Davis, Executive Producer of The Greatest Showman; SPE principals Alexander Svezia, William Pennell, Lisa Truitt, and Christine Kurtz for SPE Partners and National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey; and Dawn Hudson, Chief Marketing Officer of the NFL, and Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil for the NFL Experience Times Square, accompanied by Danny Boockvar, President of the NFL Experience Times Square.


NYC & Company selects are available here taken by Julienne Schaer and here via Getty Images.

Images sourced from the Hightail link should be credited: “Photo courtesy of NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer.”

Images sourced from the Getty link should be credited: “Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYC & Company.”

Caption recommendations:

For onstage images: “NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: L-R (names of individuals photographed,) pose onstage at NYC & Company Foundation Visionaries & Voices Gala 2017 on December 18, 2017 in New York City.”

For step and repeat images: “NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: L-R (names of individuals photographed,) attend the NYC & Company Foundation Visionaries & Voices Gala 2017 on December 18, 2017 in New York City.”

About NYC & Company Foundation

NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York. The NYC & Company Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that helps sustain New York City's extraordinary nonprofit arts community through cultural tourism development, audience education and outreach projects. Since its inception in 1999, the Foundation has focused on educating domestic and international audiences about the vibrant and diverse cultural community throughout all five boroughs of New York City.


Contact: NYC & Company/Kim Klein 212-484-1270