CRVA Partners in Tourism Award Winners Announced

January 25, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 25, 2017) – The CRVA announced the winners of the 11th Annual Partners in Tourism Awards sponsored by Charlotte Motor Speedway today at an awards breakfast and ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center. Charlotte’s top hospitality and tourism professionals were in attendance to recognize the front-line individuals and organizations that directly impact tourism in the Charlotte region. 

“The Partners in Tourism Awards is a special event each year when we celebrate businesses and individuals for their exceptional service to visitors and locals,” said CRVA Director of Partnership Kamin Brennan. “For many visitors, their first impression of Charlotte is based on their interaction with our partners in the hospitality industry. Because of their impact, the visitor economy continues to thrive in the Charlotte region.”

Visitors spend $5 billion annually in Mecklenburg County and $6.5 billion regionally. One in every nine people employed in Charlotte works in the hospitality and leisure sector. There are more than 124,000 jobs in the hospitality and leisure sector with visitor spending directly supporting 63,000 of those jobs. The tourism tax revenues produced in Charlotte save each Mecklenburg County resident $349 in taxes annually.*

For more than 10 years, the CRVA has held the Partners in Tourism Awards to celebrate exceptional contributions to Charlotte tourism. Winners were nominated by CRVA employees and partners. Individual honors given at the event included: the Local Champions Awards, which recognize individuals who have been instrumental in collaborating with the CRVA’s teams to bring meetings, conventions and sporting events to the city; the Hospitality Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes an individual who often serves in the back of the house and may not always be seen, but his or her contributions and commitment can be felt everywhere in the business; the Outstanding Ambassador Award, which recognizes an individual who typically works in the front of the house and could be considered the face of outstanding customer service; and the Hospitality Professional of the Year Award, which recognizes a respected leader who is engaged in the community and is an advocate for the advancement of the hospitality industry, garnering great respect among his or fellow employees, colleagues and customers. Business awards categories included Attraction of the Year, Full-service Hotel of the Year, Nightlife/Entertainment Venue of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Select-service Hotel of the Year and Service Provider of the Year.

And new this year is the Destination Impact Award. This award goes to a person who is a powerhouse for the regional tourism industry and visitor economy. This person’s fingerprints can be seen all over the community, with contributions creating ripple effects across our destination—from supporting thousands of jobs to providing unmatched entertainment for both visitors and residents and producing worldwide exposure. The commitment this person has shown to our region inspires vision, sparks curiosity and innovation, and supports its success for years to come.   

This Year’s Partners in Tourism Award winners are:

Local Champions: Doris Asbury, President, Charlotte Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Lieutenant Colonel Mark Almond, NC National Guard; and Doug Youngblood, Partners for Parks

Hospitality Unsung Hero: Rosa Fernandez, Laundry & Refresh Stylist, Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne

Outstanding Ambassador: Jeff Crump, Director of Banquet Services, Crowne Plaza Charlotte Executive Park

Hospitality Professional of the Year: Frank Scibelli, Founder and Owner of FS Food

Destination Impact: Jerry Richardson, Owner/Founder of the Carolina Panthers

Attraction of the Year: Discovery Place Science

Full-service Hotel of the Year: Charlotte Marriott City Center

Nightlife/Entertainment Venue of the Year: Sycamore Brewing

Restaurant of the Year: Fahrenheit - Charlotte

Retailer of the Year: 7th Street Public Market

Select-service Hotel of the Year: Hyatt House Charlotte Center City

Service Provider of the Year: American Airlines

Learn more about the CRVA partnership program at