Raleigh, N.C. - The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau held its 29th Annual Luncheon at the Raleigh Convention Center on Aug. 25, 2016. Five awards were presented to individuals and/or organizations for their efforts in enhancing and promoting tourism.

The award winners are:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Roger Krupa, retired director of the Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex

This recognition is given to an individual who has demonstrated lifelong support and leadership in Wake County tourism, promoted a standard of excellence and has made lasting contributions to the industry's growth as a whole. This is only the fourth time in the Bureau's 29 year history that this award has been given.

A fixture in the Wake County hospitality community, Krupa was responsible for the management of the Raleigh Convention Center, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and Red Hat Amphitheater, along with the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. He retired in late 2015.

The world-class facilities that he helped to create were instrumental in attracting both small and large conventions to the area, resulting in thousands of room-nights and notoriety for our destination. Krupa also helped to bring more public events to downtown Raleigh-raising the level of energy and the number of visitors patronizing shops, restaurants and nightlife. These include the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass activities, Broadway Series South productions, the Raleigh Home Show and the Raleigh Boat Show... along with The 'Works, the City of Raleigh's all-day outdoor street festival, which is now held every July 4th.

Thad Eure, Jr. Memorial Award
Sherry Fadool, president and executive director of the Triangle Volleyball Club

The Thad Eure, Jr. Memorial Award is the Bureau's longest running and most prestigious award recognizing an individual or organization that has made a major impact on the Wake County hospitality industry. The award is named for the late restaurateur and community leader Thad Eure Jr.

Fadool has been with the Triangle Volleyball Club since 2006 and at the helm since 2011. This organization focuses on the personal and athletic development of student-athletes and creates a safe, positive and effective learning environment for the sport.

She is known for her through the planning and execution of two prestigious volleyball events held annually at the Raleigh Convention Center. The Mid-Atlantic Power League (MAPL) which in 2015 hosted a record 192 teams on 25 courts, welcomed 5,000 visitors from around the country utilizing 2,000 hotel room-nights and contributed 700,000 dollars in direct impact to the local economy and the newest event, the City of Oaks Challenge, which brought 140 teams to Raleigh over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend has truly helped distinguish Raleigh as a destination leader for youth and amateur sports.

John B. Ross, Jr. Leadership Award
Dave Rose, president of DSE Music Group International, Inc.

The John B. Ross Leadership Award was established in 1996 to recognize an outstanding executive management-level individual who displays exceptional leadership skills to positively impact the Wake County hospitality industry and community. The award is given in honor of John Ross, who was the GRCVB Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1995-96. The award exemplifies the courage, leadership, dedication and inspiration that Ross portrayed in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years.

Raleigh is known for having The Most music in North Carolina and at the helm of some of the area's most notable music events is Rose. He oversees the popular downtown Raleigh events: Oak City 7 and Pickin' in the Plaza, which together draw an estimated 50,000 attendees to downtown throughout the summer as well as the concert offerings in Dorton Arena during the North Carolina State Fair.

In addition to bringing musical talent to the area, he also is a tireless advocate for raising Raleigh's visibility as a true live music destination. Rose serves on the GRCVB's Live Music Advisory Committee and is an advocate for promoting TheMostNC.com, the campaign and website which reminds visitors and locals alike how much music the Raleigh area offers.

Horizon Award
The Horizon Award recognizes exemplary attitude and professionalism of a mid-management level employee who demonstrates the skills to be a future leader in the hospitality industry.

Kevin DeHimer, director of catering for Rocky Top Catering, has earned respect and admiration from clients, event planners, special event venue owners and fellow service providers in this role he's held for the past 12 years.

Isaac Hunter Excellence in Service Awards
The Isaac Hunter Excellence in Service Awards honor front-line employees in the local hospitality industry who go above and beyond normal expectations to provide outstanding service to visitors and residents.

Carisa Thomas, VIR ambassador and gallery host at the Hyatt House Raleigh Durham Airport in Morrisville is the recipient of numerous letters of recommendation from hotel guests, fellow staff members and management for her friendliness, compassion and dedication to her job. She was also named Hyatt House Employee of the Month and Employee of the Year.

Click here photos of all award winners

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, as the official destination marketing organization of Raleigh and Wake County, accelerates sustainable growth and development by increasing visitor and convention business. Through its website, VisitRaleigh.com and other tools, the GRCVB assists local visitors in a variety of ways.