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News + Press: General News

NCRLA honors the Stars of the Industry

Tuesday, February 7, 2017  
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The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), the voice of North Carolina’s $22 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry, announced the 2017 winners of its Stars of the Industry Awards in a ceremony during Taste of North Carolina at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill yesterday evening. The award winners showcase a commitment to valued guests and are selected based on their exemplary service, leadership, innovation and dedication in the restaurant, lodging and hospitality industries.

“Our honorees are some of the most established and faithful members of North Carolina’s restaurant and lodging industry,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO, NCRLA.


“Our annual Stars of the Industry Awards and Taste of North Carolina pay tribute to the tireless efforts of our industry members and their dedication and hard work that helps improve the North Carolina hospitality industry year after year.”

The 2017 NCRLA Stars of the Industry Award recipients include:

NCRLA Chef of the Year
Jesse Roque, Executive Chef & Owner, Never Blue, Hendersonville (Bio)
NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year
Jossie Perlmutter, Pastry Chef, Block & Grinder, Charlotte (Bio)
Hospitality Champion of the Year
Senator Rick Gunn, NC General Assembly, Raleigh (Bio)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Christina Larson, LongHorn Steakhouse, Summerfield (Bio)
Hospitality Supplier of the Year
Christina Clark, Vice President of Sales, Shelton Vineyards, Dobson (Bio)
Restaurateur of the Year
G Patel, President, Eschelon Experiences, Raleigh (Bio)
Lodging Operator of the Year
Peter Grills, General Manager, The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, Charlotte (Bio)
The Griff & June Glover Award for Distinguished Service
Lance Trenary, President & CEO, Golden Corral, Raleigh (Bio)
The Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community
Doris Huebner, Co-Owner, F&D Huebner LLC/McDonald’s, Garner (Bio)
Lodging Employee of the Year
Tommy Turrentine, Banquet Bar Captain, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Durham (Bio)
Lodging Manager of the Year
Dan McLaughlin, F&B Director, Hilton Durham near Duke University, Durham (Bio)
David Press, Assistant General Manager, Hyatt House Raleigh North Hills, Raleigh (Bio)
Restaurant Employee of the Year
Sheri Costa, Server, Golden Corral, Raleigh (Bio)
Restaurant Manager of the Year
Brenda Johnson, Front of House Manager, Carolina Ale House, Concord (Bio)
Guy Murphy, General Manager, Top of the Hill Restaurant, Brewery & Distillery, Chapel Hill (Bio)

For more information about the NCRLA 2017 Stars of the Industry Awards and Taste of North Carolina, visit

Established in 1947, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) works to advance and protect North Carolina’s $22 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry. The association provides access to the resources and support restaurant and lodging professionals need to lead thriving businesses, while serving as conscientious, contributing members of an unparalleled industry. To learn more information about NCRLA or its membership opportunities and cost-saving benefits, please visit

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Media Contact:
Jen Caro
Largemouth Communications (on behalf of NCRLA)

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