Past Music City Hitmakers

Get to know Nashville's hitmakers. Hear their stories and learn about the ways they have made Music City a lasting impression.

Music City Hitmakers will be awarded each month. And you can win, too! Just by nominating, you're entered into a drawing to win a return trip to Nashville - to experience our Southern hospitality all over again!

December 2023 Hitmaker
Elvis Douglas | Service Management Systems at Green Hills Mall

Elvis Douglas is a radiant presence at Green Hills Mall and transforms each visit into a delightful experience, with one customer calling him the “Super spreader of joy with his cheerful greeting every time our paths cross.” Elvis extends a helping hand to all he meets. As one customer expressed, "You will never meet a better representative of southern hospitality than the nicest human working at the mall. Always so friendly and positive.” Elvis helps keep the mall spotless and creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Another grateful visitor said, “He is always so animated with his greetings and makes everyone feel like family. Not only does he keep the mall incredibly clean, but he also brings joy to all around him. He is a true southern gentleman and deserves all the kindness that comes his way.”

November 2023 Hitmaker
Nahm Kim | Assembly Food Hall
Hitmaker | Nahm Kim

This beverage manager helped a visitor who got lost and disoriented in the Food Hall’s parking garage. The man was in town for his 65th wedding anniversary trip and to visit their daughter in Nashville. He found himself lost in the parking garage, while also experiencing a medical condition. In distress, he reached out to the front desk. While one Food Hall worker stayed on the phone with him, Nahm searched the parking garage for him for 30 minutes, located him and helped him get home. Overwhelmed with gratitude, the visitor said, "God placed an angel in my path to help me make it home because of a person I’ve never met."

October 2023 Hitmaker
Jennifer Brazee and Jeremy Hildebrant | Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC)
Jeremy Hildebrant and Jennifer Brazee | Hitmaker

During a Thomas Rhett concert at Bridgestone Arena, security guards Jennifer Brazee and Jeremy Hildebrandt responded to an emergency about a patron experiencing a possible seizure. Rushing to the scene, they found the audience member had stopped breathing. Acting swiftly, Jennifer ran to retrieve an AED while a trauma doctor from the audience performed chest compressions. Simultaneously, Jeremy Hildebrandt took charge of the chaotic situation, clearing the area of patrons and chairs to create a path for the incoming medical staff. Their quick thinking and courage saved a life, and superstar Thomas Rhett acknowledged the moment from stage.

September 2023 Hitmaker
Debbie Stewart | Old Town Trolley
Debbie Stewart | Hitmaker

Conductor Debbie quickly became a part of this Nashville family after her exceptional hospitality.  Oozing with Nashville’s southern charm, concierge and conductor Debbie was conducting a hop-on-hop-off old town trolley tour. She not only guided the tour but shared her extensive knowledge and great sense of humor while going above and beyond to make their time in Nashville memorable. Keeping the perfect balance between facts and fun, she provided them with a rich history of the sights. Despite it being a hop-on-and-off tour, she made the family want to stay on the bus to listen to more of her stories. So impressed by Debbie’s service, they gave her the nickname of Cousin Debbie and described her as a true treasure who embodies Nashville's southern charm. The Nashville family said “she was consistently wonderful to absolutely everyone the whole day regardless of how near or far they traveled.”

August 2023 Hitmaker
Juan Santiago | Metro Livery
Juan Santiago | Hitmaker

You don’t have to be a visitor to experience exceptional Southern hospitality. When Cathy and her husband returned to Nashville, they caught a ride home from the airport with Metro Livery. Their driver, Juan, proactively coordinated the details a day before their arrival, arrived well before the appointed time, and cheerfully handled their heavy bags. During the ride, he shared fun facts about Music City, and they thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the feeling of being tourists in their own hometown. Juan turned a mundane journey into an engaging and enlightening adventure. His exceptional service left a lasting impression and earned him a glowing recommendation. Cathy said, “If you need to get around the city, Juan is delightful."

July 2023 Hitmaker
Janine McKnight | Formerly Union Station Hotel
Janine Mcknight | Hitmaker

When four Canadian friends visited Nashville, they were pleased by the warm Southern hospitality they encountered at Union Station Hotel. Janine gave them a tour of the hotel and explained its history, and made them feel instantly at home. The concierge even went the extra mile, securing hop-on-hop-off tour bus tickets and discounted passes to a show at Woolworth Theatre. When a seating issue arose, Janine quickly resolved it. Her Southern hospitality and passion for Music City left a lasting impression on their trip. “Our trip was made better because our paths crossed with Janine,” one of the guests said. 

June 2023 Hitmaker
Jacob Dempsey | Hilton Nashville Airport

When a Chattanooga couple entered their Hilton Nashville Airport hotel room, they heard a disruptive noise from the air conditioner unit. After assessing the problem, Jacob, the hotel’s engineer, informed the couple he did not have the part in stock to fix the problem immediately. Without hesitation, Jacob contacted the front desk, arranged a different room, helped with their belongings, acquired new keys, and personally delivered new keys to their new room. “Jacob smiled and offered help as much as possible during the interaction, he went above and beyond for us and his job”.

May 2023 Hitmaker
Scott Morales | Associated Protective Service, Inc.
Scott Morales - Hitmaker

When a mother-daughter duo traveled all the way from Ohio to Nashville to celebrate Mother’s Day, they were eager to experience a Nashville rooftop sunset at the Westin Nashville to conclude their weeklong stay in Music City. Their excitement was momentarily dampened when they realized many rooftops don’t allow minors after 7 p.m. Fortunately, Scott, who was working security, overheard their disappointment at the situation and took the initiative to accompany the duo to a serene spot on a top floor of the Westin with an equally gorgeous view of a Nashville sunset. The mom expressed her gratitude by saying “This made my daughter's night. We thank Scott for a magical experience in Music City!”

April 2023 Hitmaker
Michelle Fox | Assembly Food Hall

Michelle came to the rescue of a Lexington, KY couple who had parked so far away that it took them 45 minutes to get to the rooftop. The couple said they have some medical issues, including multiple sclerosis, which makes walking difficult and were told the wrong parking information. Michelle noticed their distressed looks, and, once she heard about their parking problem, she asked for their car keys and parking ticket and somehow found their vehicle so that she could move it closer. The visitor said, “We couldn’t believe our eyes. When the elevator opened, our car was literally right there so close. We smiled at the kindness of a complete stranger who took the time to care for two old people. This young lady – and Nashville – have won our hearts forever.”

March 2023 Hitmaker
Herman Patton | Alamo Car Rental at Nashville International Airport
Hitmakers - Herman Patton

Herman helps visitors have “outstanding” experiences when they are picking up and dropping off car rentals. One visitor said, “His customer service was above and beyond.” Another visitor complimented Herman for his “poise and professionalism,” and went on to say: “He has a heart of gold and is a wonderful asset to the Alamo team.”

February 2023 Hitmaker
Kenneth Hadley | Hilton Nashville Downtown
Hitmaker Cory Lavine

A visitor got separated from her bachelorette party on Lower Broadway and was upset and distraught. She was alone with only her cell phone. She called her mom to ask for advice, and her mom said to go to the nearest hotel. Although she wasn’t a guest of the Hilton Nashville Downtown, she went in to ask for help. She was visibly shaking, and Kenneth and other security officers went to her. She explained what had happened and said she just needed to get back to her AirBnB. After several failed attempts trying to get her a ride, Kenneth offered to drive her during his own personal time during his lunch break. According to the visitor’s mom, “I was so grateful that someone would go above and beyond to assist her even though she wasn’t a guest at their hotel.

January 2023 Hitmaker
Cory Lavine | Towne Park at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Hitmakers - Kenneth Hadley

Cory, a 24-year veteran in the hospitality industry, “set the stage” for a wonderful weekend for visitor Terry Smith. Cory made the visit extra special after learning it was Terry’s 70th birthday with a surprise gift bag filled with goodies and a card signed by Cory and other hotel employees. This special touch was on top of all the great recommendations and other extras Cory provided during their stay.

December 2022 Hitmaker
Juan Duran | Skydeck at Assembly Food Hall
Juan | Hitmaker

With his huge smile and joyful attitude, Juan is lifting spirits one table at a time with his enthusiastic customer service at Assembly Food Hall. As a person with a speech disorder and disability, Juan’s ability and commitment to excellent, impactful service is center stage. He left a lasting impression on one patron who commended, “Juan makes picking up food trays look like the job of a lifetime… He is top-notch for me! From the finest of dining to the most casual, no one has topped him.” She said Juan is an inspiration.

November 2022 Hitmaker
Brett Shane | Skydeck at Assembly Food Hall
Brett Shane | Hitmaker

Brett is bringing repeat business to Nashville after he helped a group from North Carolina during the 2021 Big Bash celebration on New Year’s Eve. His attentive service inspired them to return to Skydeck during a Titans Watch Party, when they dropped by to say hello. Brett unexpectedly arranged special seating and complimentary beverages. The guest said, “His level of customer service and genuine appreciation for our business is a model of what all in the hospitality industry should strive for.”  They promised to bring guests back to Skydeck during their next visit to Nashville.

October 2022 Hitmaker
Telesa “Mama T” Newsom | Hilton Nashville Green Hills
Telesa Newsom

A visitor from Beverly Hills, CA was in Nashville to give an important presentation, and she was disappointed that the Hilton executive lounge did not have any green tea that she likes to drink before giving a speech. Mama T was working as an attendant in the lounge checked with room service but had no luck. A few hours later, Mama T showed up at the guest’s room with a gift bag. Inside was a box of green tea she purchased on her own with a personal note of good luck on the speech. The visitor said, “This woman went out of her way to make me feel special and cared for. She listened and then took action. In an increasingly impersonal world, this reminded me that it's the small things that we remember: the simple acts of kindness from a stranger.”

September 2022 Hitmaker
Alexander McDonald | Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Restaurant
Alexander Mcdonald

Alexander was recognized for his hospitality toward travel-weary visitors who came into the restaurant late after a long day on the road. They said that Alexander “took super good care of us even though it was less than an hour until they closed. He didn't rush us or make us feel like we needed to hurry. It was most appreciated after a long 10+ hour drive there.”

August 2022 Hitmaker
Cornelius Drake | Holiday Inn Express Airport
Cornelius Drake

Cornelius was commended for always having a song to share and being especially helpful to a customer with a disability. A guest said that Cornelius was “outstanding and amazing. He was very helpful with whatever I needed and went above and beyond for my handicapped mom. No one has ever made her feel so special with a smile as him. His singing throughout the hotel is phenomenal, and he is just a bundle of joy.”

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

December 2019 Hitmaker
Taylor Lathan | DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown
DoubleTree Hilton Downtown

Taylor saved the day for a newlywed couple visiting from Australia. There was a mix-up with their hotel booking that could have meant no place for them at the hotel. Instead, Taylor helped secure a room for them, upgraded them to a suite, and personally brought them cake and champagne to help them celebrate. The visitors described him as “an angel that swooped down with a warm smile” and a “stellar representative of that warm Nashville hospitality.”

November 2019 Hitmaker
L.J. Whalen | Adventureworks
adventureworks

L.J. Whalen of Adventureworks quickly stepped in when a Wheel of Fortune contestant lost a trip to Nashville based on a technicality – she gave a correct answer but in the wrong format. Whalen took it upon himself to recruit local hospitality companies to give Kristen Shaw of Bangor, Maine, a new prize that includes hotel accommodations, transportation, meals and drinks, activities at attractions, and Nashville souvenirs. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, which had partnered with Gaylord Opryland Resort on the original prize, is providing airfare and an attraction pass as part of the new vacation package for Shaw.

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

October 2019 Hitmaker
Alex Wornell | Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th
Nashville July 4th

Alex was part of the Music City July Fourth operations team and while helping set up the event site, he came across an elderly homeless woman underneath the Pedestrian Bridge. She was in a wheelchair – in distress and in tears. All her belongings had been stolen, including literally the shirt off her back. Without even thinking, Alex took off the shirt he was wearing to give to the woman, and she immediately put it on. “Alex jumped into action when a fellow human being was in need. We need more people like Alex in this world!”

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

September 2019 Hitmaker
Gail Gunn | Music City Center
Music City Center Exterior

We love it when locals recognize great customer service in their hometown. Gail was praised by a downtown worker who parks twice a week at Music City Center. They noticed Gail’s genuine smile and friendliness and said she treats everyone kindly, going out of her way to show visitors directions, hand out brochures, and talk about the city. They said, “She is the friendly face of Nashville.”

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

August 2019 Hitmaker
Liyah Wilson | Stompin Grounds Market, JW Marriott Nashville
Stompin Grounds

Liyah went above and beyond for visitors from Lynchburg, Virginia, who were stressed about their logistics for checking out of the hotel. The coffee shop server was able to confirm they could leave their van with the valet the rest of the day, which meant they could leave their luggage in the vehicle once they checked out. But that’s not all. Then Liyah sent a box of baked pastries to their room with a sweet note. The guests said, “None of that was her responsibility, but she felt like making our day better, and she truly did.”

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

July 2019 Hitmaker
Herman Patton | Alamo Car Renal at BNA

Herman has received several glowing nominations this past year on top of already being named a Hitmaker in 2018. A Michigan guest praised Herman for his big smile and kindness. She also appreciated an upgrade into an SUV similar to the one she is accustomed to driving at home. Herman is also a favorite of a frequent flyer from Florida, who seeks him out every time she rents from Alamo. She calls him the happiest, nicest man you could ever meet. She appreciates his recommendations of fun things to do in Nashville. And she said, “When I walk in the Alamo garage … I literally go running to him to give him a hug. He’s one of the reasons I love this precious city so much.”

June 2019 Hitmaker
Lisa Horngren | Sweet Magnolia Tours

Lisa impressed a tour group during a trip from Nashville to Memphis with her enthusiasm and attention to detail. She highlighted points of interest and made extra stops as special requests to guests. But she really went over the top when she learned a guest from Indiana was staying in a hotel in Goodlettsville, quite a distance from where the tour ended in Nashville. The guest said, “Lisa kindly offered to take us there in her personal car since she was getting off work after our tour.”

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

May 2019 Hitmaker
Andrew Thompson | DoubleTree Nashville Downtown
DoubleTree Hilton Downtown

As a concierge at the DoubleTree, Andrew went out of his way several times to help guests from Florida, including getting them a cab to the Ray Stevens CabaRay Showroom. After the show ended, the Florida couple tried for hours to get a cab back downtown but not a single taxi would come to get them. It was after midnight and CabaRay was locking up, so, they called Andrew in desperation. Andrew got out of bed and without hesitation picked them up and drove them back to the DoubleTree.

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

April 2019 Hitmaker
Meagan Newsom | Hyatt House Nashville Vanderbilt
hyatt house

Meagan offered encouragement and assistance to a Chattanooga visitor staying at the hotel for a month while her son was on life support at Vanderbilt Medical Center. She always had kind words and ran errands for the family, like buying a charging cord for their computer or taking them shopping for clothes – on her own time and not accepting any reimbursement for gas. The guest said, “She gave more than service. She gave of herself with love and kindness. She will remain in my heart forever.”

Read WTVF-NewsChannel 5's story about this Hitmaker

March 2019 Hitmaker
Nolan Pittman | Sheraton Music City
Sheraton Grand

Nolan is what we call a repeat offender. He receives several nominations each year and last year was named the Hitmaker of the Year. Nolan’s most recent nominations praised him for great service and going the extra step to help visitors make their trips even more memorable. He’s often the reason why some visitors say they plan to come back to Nashville for future visits. And we couldn’t help noticing that every time Nolan gets a nomination, visitors say they have a new friend in him.

February 2019 Hitmaker
Robert Lee | Nashville International Airport Customer Experience Department
Nashville International Airport terminal

Robert helped turn a bad first impression into a good one for visitors from the United Kingdom. The elderly guests arrived for a 10-day trip in Nashville and arranged for a taxi to pick them up at the airport. When they couldn’t find the cab, they asked for help at the information desk, where Robert called the taxi company. He was able to help them lodge a complaint with the taxi service, get them another cab, and calm their frayed nerves.

January 2019 Hitmaker
Chris Valdez | Metro Nashville Police Department
Metro Nashville Police Department

Officer Valdez came to the rescue of a taxi driver on a cold, rainy night who had a flat tire after hitting what he called “the mother of all potholes.” The officer showed up on the scene after Steve called Metro Police to ask about damage claims and was told to file a police report. When the officer noticed Steve was walking with a cane, he insisted on changing the car tire in the mud and rain for him.