Music City wouldn't be what it is today without the work of E.W. "Bud" Wendell. As manager of the Grand Ole Opry and later CEO of Gaylord Entertainment, Wendell is credited with the brand development of Ryman Auditorium & the Grand Ole Opry, the broad reach of Nashville's music community, the revitalization of the downtown area, and the growth of the tourism & meeting industry. He was a great leader and visionary. Music City will always be thankful for what he accomplished.
In 2014, the Nashville hospitality industry honored Wendell's career by creating the first-ever major hospitality industry award in his name. The award recognizes an ‘unsung hero’ from outside the hospitality industry who has contributed above and beyond to the overall success of tourism and convention business in Nashville.
Mayor Karl Dean, 2014
Former Governor Phil Bredesen, 2015
Vince Gill, 2016
Steve Turner, 2017
Kings Of Leon, 2018