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Senator Rick Gunn named 2017 Hospitality Champion by at Taste of North Carolina

Tuesday, February 7, 2017  
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On Monday, February 6, 2017, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), the voice of North Carolina’s $22 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry, named Senator Rick Gunn of Burlington as the 2017 Hospitality Champion. Sen. Gunn was honored during the annual Stars of the Industry Awards ceremony for his consistent support of North Carolina business growth.

“Protecting and advancing good public policy that serves to help restaurants and hotels grow their businesses and create jobs is a vital part of our mission at NCRLA. Senator Gunn has proven to be a pro-business leader and true hospitality industry champion,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO, NCRLA. “On behalf of over 18,000 restaurants and 1800 hotels across North Carolina, it is an honor to recognize him with this much deserved award.”

The 2017 Stars of the Industry Awards were given during the annual Taste of North Carolina event at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.

The Hospitality Champion Award honors a member of the North Carolina General Assembly who has gone above and beyond to champion North Carolina’s $22 billion hospitality industry.

Sen. Gunn was chosen as 2017 Hospitality Champion for his leadership and commitment to the growth and success of North Carolina businesses. As a successful businessman and owner of a commercial real-estate firm, Sen. Gunn contributes to the restaurant and lodging industry through various government policies, including commonsense reforms to our Alcoholic Beverage Control laws.

Beyond his duties as representative of the 24th Senate District in Alamance and Randolph Counties, Sen. Gunn has been an active member in the business community. He has served as president of the Burlington-Alamance County Association of Realtors, the Alamance Business Club and the Burlington Downtown Corporation. He also previously served as vice chairman of the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Government Liaison Committee.

Recognized also for his positive impact on the community, Sen. Gunn has served on the board of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club and has been a budget review chairman for the United Way of Alamance County. Gunn served for five years as president of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Alamance County and on the YMCA North Carolina Public Policy Committee.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive this award and am grateful to NCRLA and the community for this recognition,” said Sen. Rick Gunn. “With the help of my colleagues and the North Carolina General Assembly, I will continue to champion North Carolina’s hospitality industry for the betterment of the state as a whole.”

Gunn attends the First Presbyterian Church in Burlington where he has previously served as deacon, youth advisor and stewardship chairman. He is married to Gayle Calder Gunn, his wife of 34 years. They have two sons, Scott, age 27, and Daniel, age 24.

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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