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Meet the 6 local hospitality heroes Asheville is honoring this week

National Travel and Hospitality Week, May 19-25, 2024, recognizes those who provide exceptional service to visitors and locals alike.

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Meet the six local hospitality heroes that Explore Asheville is celebrating in honor of National Travel and Hospitality Week, May 19-25, 2024.

In honor of National Travel and Hospitality Week, May 19-25, Asheville is recognizing six heroes of hospitality in our community who help make AVL a welcoming, one-of-a-kind place for locals and travelers alike.

Local frontline workers (31 in total) were nominated for Explore Asheville’s first annual Heroes of Hospitality Awards, honoring those who provide exceptional service and represent Asheville and Buncombe County with pride.

Six were chosen as this year’s honorees — all non-managerial level employees or volunteers, nominated by their managers or peers:

  • Marsha Furness | Assistant Manager | Talloni, A Shoe Salon
  • Marco Gaspar | Chef de Partie | The Lobster Trap
  • Ryan Jackson | Customer Host | Fox-N-Otter Escape Rooms
  • Maura Juarez | Housekeeper | Virtelle Hospitality
  • Ralford McIntosh | Banquet Server | Omni Grove Park Inn
  • David Teafatiller | Outdoor Adventure Guide | Hike Bike Kayak Asheville

The award recipients were honored during the ticketed Heroes of Hospitality luncheon at Omni Grove Park Inn on Monday, May 20. Event proceeds will benefit Explore Asheville’s new, forthcoming workforce development progrm for Buncombe County high school students.

Learn more about the 6 local Heroes.

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