What will tourism in Wake County look like post-COVID? 

Will we be able to reestablish the momentum we had in 2019 (the county’s best year ever), or will we have to reinvent? We already know, with the addition of hybrid and virtual, the meetings landscape has changed, maybe forever. What other trends and developments in the tourism industries and in our area hospitality community must we be ready to address?

We are hoping you will join us as we discuss these issues and more at the Bureau’s first hybrid Annual Meeting:

The Next Normal
Perspectives from industry thought leaders
about tourism's rebound in Wake County

on Thurs., Aug. 19, 2021, at 10am 
In-person: A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Virtually: Provided by Atlas Production Group

During the session, GRCVB’s president and CEO Dennis Edwards will deliver his annual State of Wake County Tourism report, and we will present the Thad Eure Jr. and John B. Ross Jr. awards for 2021.

This year’s memorial and leadership awards will be presented to:

  • Thad Eure Jr. Memorial Award: Lynn D. Minges, president and CEO, North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association
  • John B. Ross Jr. Leadership Award: Mark Doble, CEO, Aviator Brewing

The meeting agenda also will include a panel discussion with industry leaders addressing the questions above. The panel will include:


Kevin McAteer, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Concord Hospitality
Kevin McAteer joined Concord in 2003. During his prior 12-year career with Marriott International, he worked in numerous leadership capacities, including the position of area general manager for Courtyard and certified regional sales trainer for Residence Inn. During his time with Concord, he has general manager for both Courtyard and Renaissance hotels. He has held general manager or executive team positions in four different Marriott brands, and he is an active member of the Renaissance & Marriott Hotel and Resorts Marketing advisory committee and Marriott’s eCommerce advisory team. 

Kerry Painter, CVE, CMP, CEM, director/general manager, Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex
Kerry Painter is general manager and director of the Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex which includes the Raleigh Convention Center, Duke Energy Performing Arts Center, Red Hat Amphitheater and Walnut Creek Amphitheater. Previously, Kerry was the AGM in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the convention center won the Venue Excellence award in 2017. Earlier to that, she was president and general manager in Niagara Falls Canada and has assisted in constructing and opening five venues in total throughout her career.

Larry B. Perkins, CVE, CPP, CMP, vice president, guest relations, PNC Arena
Larry Perkins is recognized as one of the top experts on crowd management, safety and event planning with more than 42 years of experience. His advice and teachings have taken him to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, England, Amsterdam, Denmark, El Salvador, Mexico, Canada and more. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs including NBC TV Dateline on a segment on crowd safety and survival entitled, “Get out Alive,” on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” ABC, CBS, FOX and others.

Angela Salamanca, chef and owner, Centro and Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria
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Time will be allowed after the presentation for questions and answers.

In-person or virtually:
You may choose to attend in person or virtually. The registration fee for either option is $20.

Register to attend in person  Register to attend virtually

If you register to attend virtually, you will receive a link to login virtually on Wed., Aug. 18, 2021. 

We hope you will be able to join us!

Event sponsors:

Annual meeting sponsors