Nashville businessman Steve Turner and the late Kitty Moon Emery will receive the hospitality industry’s top honors for contributions made to the success of the city’s tourism and convention business, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.
Turner, a longtime advocate for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the cultural arts in Nashville, will be presented the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award, joining past recipients Vince Gill, former Gov. Phil Bredesen and former Mayor Karl Dean. The award recognizes contributions to the success of the tourism and convention business in Nashville by someone outside the industry.
Moon, who was active on the CMA board for two decades and helped bring professional sports to Music City, will posthumously receive the inaugural Francis S. Guess Connector Award, which recognizes an individual who has worked to connect the hospitality industry to the community at large to make Nashville a more appealing, open and successful destination. Nashville developer Pat Emery will accept the award on behalf of his late wife.
“It is impossible to capture all that Steve has contributed to Nashville – through his energetic support of our music industry, our downtown and our quality of life,” said Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, board chair of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and president at DVL Seigenthaler. “Steve is a visionary who recognized early the full potential of downtown as the place to live, work and play by living downtown himself and by leading the revitalization of the Gulch. Also, through his deep involvement with our arts community, including the Nashville Symphony and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Steve has strengthened the organizations that uphold music in Music City.”
Courtney added, “Kitty was a trailblazer — one of the first corporate leaders to connect the hospitality industry to Music Row and to the broader business community. She was ahead of her time in seeing the impact the music brand could have on our tourism and convention business and on making Nashville a global destination. Kitty was a sharp businesswoman who understood the importance of the hospitality industry as an economic engine and her legacy will always be part of our city’s success.”
Both award winners will be recognized at Nashville’s National Tourism Week Hospitality Industry Celebration, which will take place on May 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the Omni Nashville Hotel.
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