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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Visit North Carolina honored four tourism industry leaders today with induction into the Winners Circle.
Tanya Jones, Surry Arts Council executive director and founder of Mayberry Days; Chuck Hobgood, president of North Carolina Amateur Sports and a founder of Cycle NC; Dana Clark, professor of hospitality and tourism management at Appalachian State University; and Harris Prevost, vice president for operations at Grandfather Mountain were honored at a luncheon at the annual Visit North Carolina 365 Conference, which draws more than 500 attendees.
The Winners Circle, which originated in 2004, has grown to more than 50 honorees including Richard Petty, charter member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame; Peggy Kirk Bell, the late women’s golf pioneer; and the late Hugh Morton of Grandfather Mountain.
More about the 2018 inductees:
Tanya Jones, a Mount Airy native, is a graduate of Duke University with a BS in zoology. She has served as executive director of the Surry Arts Council for 30 years, and as chairman of numerous boards and fundraising campaigns. While serving as Chamber of Commerce Vice-Chairman in the 1980s, Jones began working to implement the occupancy tax that has generated millions of dollars for Mount Airy.
In 1990, she founded the annual Mayberry Days festival and facilitated the donation of the Historic Earle Theatre, which houses the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall. Surry County is a part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area due in part to Jones’ efforts. She was also instrumental in getting the Earle Theatre included on the Blue Ridge Music Trails. She coordinated efforts with Andy Griffith and TV Land to secure the “Andy and Opie” statue and raised funds for the Blackmon Amphitheatre and the Andy Griffith Museum, which hosts more than 50,000 visitors annually.
Jones continues to advocate for place-based tourism and economic development. Her years of service to her community resulted in a Governor’s Volunteer Award, recognition as the 1986 Citizen of the Year, and tourism commendations from the City of Mount Airy.
Chuck Hobgood is president of North Carolina Amateur Sports, the first sports commission formed in North Carolina. Hobgood has worked with the nonprofit organization since 1988, and under his leadership, the organization hosts the annual Powerade State Games of North Carolina and the Cycle North Carolina program. The Powerade State Games is the state’s largest multi-sport event and one of the largest State Games programs in the United States with more than 12,000 athletes and coaches from more than 95 North Carolina counties participating.
Cycle North Carolina was created by in 1999 by N.C. Amateur Sports, Visit North Carolina, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Capitol Broadcasting Co. to provide economic impact in small towns. Cycle North Carolina, which includes three annual events, has been voted the "Best Biking in America" by the League of American Bicyclists and is one of the world’s largest and most successful bicycle tourism programs. In addition to his work with N.C. Amateur Sports,
Hobgood worked for the University of North Carolina Athletic Department, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Olympic Trials, national championships and other major events come to North Carolina as a result of Hobgood’s deep involvement and efforts on behalf of the industry.
For 27 years, Dr. Dana Clark, professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Appalachian State University in Boone, has worked tirelessly with the tourism industry to develop the next generation of travel leaders. Clark, who currently serves as director of the program, began his travel career in North Carolina as the Vice President of Convention Development for the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau. Before that he was in the lodging industry for more than 12 years.
Clark earned an ABJ and MBA from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Clark served on a variety of industry boards and is the former President of the Travel Council of North Carolina. His work has resulted in more than 50 consulting projects with a variety of organizations. Clark developed the internship curriculum for the ASU program in which his students have undertaken internships with travel organizations all over North Carolina and around the world. Many former students serve in leadership roles in the travel industry.
Clark currently holds the Dwayne Daggett Endowed Professorship in the John A. Walker College of Business at ASU. He is a proud resident of Lenoir, where he serves as chairman of the Lenoir Tourism Development Authority. He is married to Candie Clark and has a daughter, Crockett.
Harris Prevost, born in Waynesville, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the golf team. He received his MBA from Georgia State University and served in the US Army. He began working for Grandfather Golf & Country Club in 1973 as an accountant. By 1978, he was the public relations and marketing manager for both GGCC and Grandfather Mountain.
Throughout his 45-year career, he has served a variety of roles at Grandfather Mountain including public relations and advertising manager, vice president for operations, fundraising, external relations and civic engagement. Prevost also taught accounting at ASU an adjunct professor from 1973 through 2014. His extensive community service past and present includes serving on the boards and in leadership roles for North Carolina Travel and Tourism, Blue Ridge Parkway Association, NC Sports Hall of Fame, High Country Host, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Handmade in America and the NC Travel Industry Association. He has received numerous awards for his work on behalf of tourism industry from the communities he has worked to promote.
Golf, travel and people have been the consistent passions in his life, which has naturally led to dedication to the tourism industry in the High Country and across North Carolina.
PHOTOS: Find hi-res photos of Jones, Hobgood, Clark and Prevost at this link.
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