From Salisbury to Wrightsville Beach, eight honored at annual Taste of NC event for leadership and dedicated service to hospitality industry
Raleigh, N.C. (February 3, 2015) – The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), the voice of North Carolina’s $19.4 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry, today announced the 2015 winners of its Stars of the Industry Awards during the annual Taste of NC event yesterday evening. NCRLA selected top individuals who have accomplished distinguished achievements in the restaurant, lodging and hospitality industries or who have diligently provided superior service to North Carolinians and valued guests.
“NCRLA is proud to shine a well-deserved spotlight on our dedicated members and their associates for their vital contributions to the prosperity and growth of North Carolina’s robust hospitality industry,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO, NCRLA. “From reliable employees to emerging managers and owners, the Stars of the Industry Awards recognize those individuals whose steadfast commitment have not only fostered positive public perception of our industry but have created a vibrant and cohesive hospitality community throughout the state.”
The 2015 NCRLA Stars of the Industry award recipients include:
- Lodging Employee of the Year (Manager)
Kathryn Leonard, Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/Ayrsley, Charlotte
- Lodging Employee of the Year (Front-Line)
Carla Elliot, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Durham
- Restaurant Employee of the Year (Manager)
Brian Rhue, Bluewater Waterfront Grill, Wrightsville Beach
- Restaurant Employee of the Year (Front-Line)
Johnnie Blango, 42nd Street Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill/Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, Raleigh
- Hospitality Supplier of the Year
Stephanie Shear, Account Development Representative, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Raleigh
- Restaurateur of the Year
Chris Foote, Managing Partner, Longhorn Steakhouse, Salisbury
- Lodging Operator of the Year
Randy Kolls, General Manager, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Durham
- The Griff & June Glover Award for Distinguished Service
R. Frank Gray, Attorney and Lobbyist, Jordan Price Wall Gray Jones, Raleigh
NCRLA announced the award recipients at its annual Taste of North Carolina event on Monday, Feb. 2. An evening of networking and fabulous food at the downtown Raleigh Marriott City Center kicked off with the Stars of the Industry Awards as NCRLA paid tribute to the best and brightest of the North Carolina hospitality industry.
“The 2015 Stars of the Industry Award winners represent the backbone of North Carolina’s thriving hospitality industry,” said NCRLA Chairman of the Board Randy Kolls. “NCRLA tenaciously works to advocate on behalf of these valued members and cultivate the next generation of leaders that will ultimately shape the future of our vital industry.”
For more information about the NCRLA 2015 Taste of North Carolina and Stars of the Industry Awards, visit www.ncrla.org.