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Vince Gill to Receive Hospitality Industry’s Top Award

Vince
Gill to Receive Hospitality Industry’s Top Award for Contributions to
Success of the Tourism and Convention Business in Nashville
Gill
Recognized for Support of Country Music Hall of Fame, Women’s Final
Four, NHL All-Star Game, Nashville Predators and Other Initiatives
Important to Industry
 
NASHVILLE March 25, 2016
— Vince Gill, a multi-GRAMMY winning singer-songwriter widely
respected for his humanitarian work and generous support of charitable
causes in Nashville, will receive the hospitality industry’s top award
for contributions to the success of the tourism and convention business
in Nashville by someone outside the industry, the Nashville Convention
& Visitors Corp announced today. Gill is the third recipient of the
E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award, joining former Gov. Phil Bredesen and former
Mayor Karl Dean.
“Whether
he is playing guitar for All for the Hall, advocating for the Women’s
Final Four or serving as Mayor of Smashville during the NHL All-Star
Game, Vince Gill has contributed mightily to who we are as Music City,”
said Ken Levitan, board chair of the Nashville Convention & Visitors
Corp and co-president of Vector Management. “There is no better
ambassador to represent the diversity of music that is thriving in Music
City than a musician who can go from traditional country to bluegrass
to western swing to gospel to just about any kind of musical style with
the ease that Vince does. Most of all, Vince embodies the kind of warmth
that makes Nashville the friendliest city in the world, and Music City
would not be who we are today without his numerous contributions.”
One
of the most honored artists in country music, Gill is a member of the
Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry. His deep commitment,
along with that of his wife contemporary Christian and pop star Amy
Grant, to charitable causes have made a significant impact on the city.
Notable among his contributions has been his unwavering support of
junior golf. Additionally, Gill’s involvement in the hospitality
industry has helped shape Nashville into the top global destination it
is today.
Gill
will be presented the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award at Nashville’s National
Tourism Week Hospitality Industry Celebration, which will take place on
May 3 at 11:30 a.m. at the Karl F. Dean Grand Ballroom at the Music City
Center. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will offer the keynote address. Registration to attend the luncheon is still open. 
In
the early 1990s, Gill was part of a group that helped select a design
for Bridgestone Arena and was the only musician to serve on the
committee. He’s been a supporter of the Nashville Predators since they
started playing at the Arena and is one of the team’s most high-profile
season ticket holders. He was named Mayor of Smashville during the 2016
NHL All-Star Game, serving as the face of the star-studded event.
Additionally, Gill was deeply involved in Nashville’s selection to host
the Women’s Final Four in 2014.
Gill
was a strong advocate for the expansion of the Country Music Hall of
Fame and Museum, serving as its board president and founding the All for
the Hall concert series that he continues to co-host with Keith Urban.
When Nashville was struck with the devastating floods of 2010, Gill
hosted a flood relief telethon, accentuating the city’s “Open for
Business” message to encourage visitors to keep coming to Music City and
exemplifying the volunteer spirit that helped Nashville pull through
flood recovery.
The
E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award honors the work of a Nashville business
executive who helped make Nashville into the music entertainment
destination it is today. Wendell began his career with the National Life
and Accident Insurance Company (then the parent company of WSM and the
Grand Ole Opry). He was named manager of the Grand Ole Opry in 1968 and
was ultimately named president and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment in 1991.
He expanded the Opryland Hotel into Nashville’s largest convention
facility, and he oversaw Gaylord’s renovation of the Ryman Auditorium
and the opening of the Wildhorse Saloon dance club, which helped revive a
declining downtown Nashville. Wendell is a member of the Country Music
Hall of Fame.

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