Steve Turner, Kitty Moon Emery to Receive Hospitality Industry’s Top Honors for Contributions to Success of City’s Tourism, Convention Business
Awards to be Presented at Nashville’s National Tourism Week Luncheon on May 9
NASHVILLE – Nashville businessman Steve Turner and the late Kitty Moon Emery, a film and television executive, will receive the hospitality industry’s top honors for contributions made to the success of the city’s tourism and convention business, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.
Turner, a longtime advocate for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the cultural arts in Nashville, will be presented the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award, joining past recipients Vince Gill, former Gov. Phil Bredesen and former Mayor Karl Dean. The award recognizes contributions to the success of the tourism and convention business in Nashville by someone outside the industry.
Moon, who was active on the CMA board for two decades and helped bring professional sports to Music City, will posthumously receive the inaugural Francis S. Guess Connector Award, which recognizes an individual who has worked to connect the hospitality industry to the community at large to make Nashville a more appealing, open and successful destination. Nashville developer Pat Emery will accept the award on behalf of his late wife.
“It is impossible to capture all that Steve has contributed to Nashville – through his energetic support of our music industry, our downtown and our quality of life,” said Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, board chair of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and president at DVL Seigenthaler. “Steve is a visionary who recognized early the full potential of downtown as the place to live, work and play by living downtown himself and by leading the revitalization of the Gulch. Also, through his deep involvement with our arts community, including the Nashville Symphony and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Steve has strengthened the organizations that uphold music in Music City.”
Courtney added, “Kitty was a trailblazer -- one of the first corporate leaders to connect the hospitality industry to Music Row and to the broader business community. She was ahead of her time in seeing the impact the music brand could have on our tourism and convention business and on making Nashville a global destination. Kitty was a sharp businesswoman who understood the importance of the hospitality industry as an economic engine and her legacy will always be part of our city’s success.”
Both award winners will be recognized at Nashville’s National Tourism Week Hospitality Industry Celebration, which will take place on May 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Registration to attend the luncheon is still open.
J. Stephen Turner
Steve Turner is the founder of MarketStreet Equities Company, an investment firm with diversified holdings in real estate and wetlands mitigation environmental preservation. As a passionate supporter of the arts in the Nashville region, he serves as chairman of the Country Music Foundation, which operates the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He is a former member of the board of the Nashville Symphony Association and chaired the Building Committee for the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He is a former member of the boards of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. In 2013, he was appointed to the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University.
He is the Founding Chairman of the Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies and serves on the Steering Committee of Nashville’s Agenda. He is a member of the boards of Cumberland Region Tomorrow, the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, and the Leadership Nashville Foundation. He served on the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce board and he previously co-chaired, with Mayor Karl Dean, the Chamber’s “CEO Champions” program in support of Nashville’s public schools. He has served on the boards of directors of the Nashville Housing Fund and the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority. In 2010 he co-chaired the “1960 Olympic Celebration” event at the Parthenon in Nashville, honoring the legendary Coach Ed Temple.
He was honored, with his brother Cal Turner Jr., by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee as joint recipients of the “Joe Kraft Humanitarian of the Year Award,” named by the Easter Seals Society “Nashvillian of the Year,” and with his wife, Judy, were jointly recognized as recipients of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s “Spirit of Nashville” Award. In 2015, he received the second annual CMA Humanitarian Award from the Country Music Association. He shared the honor of receiving the Martha Rivers Ingram Visionary Arts Award with his son, Jay Turner, in April 2016, which was presented by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville.
Katherine “Kitty” Moon Emery
Kitty Moon Emery was a prominent Nashville business and civic leader who served two decades on the board of the Country Music Association and is credited with helping bring professional football and hockey to Nashville through her service on the Nashville Sports Authority. She served as president of Leadership Music, Downtown Rotary Club and the Country Music Association. During her 21 years on the CMA board, Moon received two President’s Awards for extraordinary leadership and the Leadership Music Bridge Award for bringing together business and music communities. She was instrumental in creating the CMA Foundation, which she chaired. Her most recent board service included Leadership Nashville, The Community Foundation, The Steering Committee of Nashville’s Agenda and as Chairman Emeritus of The CMA Foundation.
She began her career in public television before being named press secretary for U.S. Sen. Bill Brock and then serving as associate director of advertising for Ronald Reagan’s first presidential campaign. Returning to Nashville, she co-founded Scene Three, Inc., a film and television production company which grew into one of the largest and most successful production companies in the Southeast. She produced many of Scene Three’s award-winning projects, including Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” which was named CMA Best Music Video of the Year award. She later served as CEO of Kitty Moon Enterprises, a growth consulting company, and worked with Dr. Scott Massey to create The Global Action Platform.
Moon was inducted into the YWCA’s Academy for Women of Achievement, received the Harpeth Hall Distinguished Alumna award, was an active member of the Tennessee Chapter of the International Women’s Forum, named one of 50 “Powerhouses” behind Nashville’s emerging success, and in 2002 honored as “Nashvillian of the Year” with Clayton McWhorter.
The E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award
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.
The Francis S. Guess Connector Award
The Francis S. Guess Connector Award was created in 2016 after Guess’ passing. Guess served on the board of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, including as board chair. He served on the boards of many hospitality industry partners, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the former Convention Center Commission and the Convention Center Authority.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com and follow us on social media: