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CVB Hosts First Annual Golden Helmet Awards to Honor Area Hospitality Professionals

May 03, 2013 04:23PM ● Published by Jason Huddle

CONCORD -  On Thursday night, the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted the inaugural Golden Helmet Awards to recognize the outstanding customer service of Cabarrus County’s hospitality partners.

In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (May 4 – 12, 2013), the Golden Helmet Awards were created by the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau as a way to honor those who continuously contribute to making memorable experiences for Cabarrus visitors.

“We are very fortunate to have such talented individuals representing this county,” said Donna Carpenter, Cabarrus County CVB President/CEO. “Their willingness and dedication take this destination to the next level when it comes to overall visitor experience. The nominees and winners tonight are all very deserving.”

During an elegant evening at the Event Center of Concord, attendees heard remarks from area officials including Liz Poole, Chairwoman of the Cabarrus County Commissioners and the City of Concord’s Mayor Scott Padgett. After an inspirational speech on the value of personalized service from Keynote Speaker Brian Parsley, the evening concluded with the presentation of the golden helmets.

Nominated by their peers, the winners of each category are:

Restaurant of the Year – Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Robin Diamond

Hotel of the Year – Holiday Inn Express at Exit 49, Billy Gulledge

Attraction of the Year – Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dianne Eckert

Small Business of the Year – The Bead Lady, Kathleen Reeder

Outstanding Ambassador – Coralee Stevenson, Hilton Garden Inn

Unsung Hero – Nelson Gusté, Residence Inn by Marriott

Hospitality Professional of the Year – Jennifer Parsley, AIM Tours

More than 3,790 jobs in Cabarrus County were directly attributable to travel and tourism. According to the US Travel Association, the first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, and localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel. For more information on this year’s theme, visit

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