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Who were the winners at the Pinnacle Awards?

From staff reports • May 11, 2018 at 6:30 PM

KINGSPORT — The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association has honored the tourism industry’s top performers during the 21st annual Pinnacle Awards held at the MeadowView Marriott as part of National Travel & Tourism Week.

What are the Pinnacle Awards?

The awards were presented by Bristol Motor Speedway and produced in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Kevin Triplett was on hand to deliver the keynote address as the top performers who contribute to tourist-related community and economic development in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region were honored. The organization saw a record number of 52 entries in categories for Marketing, Advertising & Promotions, Public Relations, Best New Event, Festival of the Year and individual achievement awards such as Partner of the Year, Rising Star and Tourism Leader of the Year.

Ranked by a panel of judges within the tourism and advertising industry associated with the Southeast Tourism Society, Pinnacle Awards were given to the top entry in each category.

Tourism is the second-largest economic driver in Tennessee, with Northeast Tennessee generating more than $800 million in direct tourist spending, more than $170 million in payroll while employing nearly 6,700 people and creating more than $25 million in local sales tax receipts annually.

The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, chartered in 1977, is a nonprofit tourism promotion agency that serves and supports Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Tennessee, as well as portions of Southwest of Virginia. The organization’s mission is to serve as a catalyst to enhance regional economic and community growth through the promotion and development of tourism.

Who were the award winners?

Pinnacle Awards were given to the following projects, events and individuals:

Advertising and Promotions:

Perpetuating the Legacy brochure

Birthplace of Country Music

Jonesborough Yarn Exchange rack card

Town of Jonesborough

A Midsummer Night’s Dream postcard

Barter Theatre

Southern Dozen print ad

Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau

Discover Bristol Great Outdoors commercial

Discover Bristol

Discover Bristol music and shopping video

Discover Bristol

Coming Home to Historic Sullivan County

Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism

2017 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Birthplace of Country Music

40th annual Unicoi Apple Festival

Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce

Marketing and Public Relations:

“Be Epic” — NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships

Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau

90th anniversary of the Bristol Sessions

Birthplace of Country Music

Trek Store, Johnson City

Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau

#CaptureKingsport, Kingsport’s Selfie Trail

Visit Kingsport

Attraction of the Year:

Tweetsie Trail

Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Birthplace of Country Music

Best New Event:

U.S. Women’s Disc Golf National Championship

Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau

Best Festival or Event:

Jonesborough Yarn Exchange radio series

Town of Jonesborough

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Birthplace of Country Music

Partnership Award:

The High Road Agency nominated by Birthplace of Country Music

Individual Achievement Awards:

Rising Star:

Stephen Callahan, Tennessee Hills Distillery

Volunteer of the Year:

Tim Bar, tournament director for 2017 Professional Disc Golf Association

Tourism Leader of the Year:

Brenda Whitson, Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau

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