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Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau Announces High-Flying Winners of Annual Tourism Awards

Posted on 01/21/21
Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau Announces High-Flying Winners of Annual Tourism Awards Amber Scarlett, Executive Director presents 2020 tourism award winners (L-R): McNeill, Craven, Wohlgemuth, & Mooney

Asheboro, NC – Two Randolph County, North Carolina business owners and two visitor center employees received awards from the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau/Randolph County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) yesterday. Amber Scarlett, Executive Director recognized each recipient during the monthly TDA Board Meeting. This recognition focused on individuals who excelled at adapting operations for guest safety while providing exceptional hospitality.

The 2020 Mary Joan Pugh Excellence in Hospitality Awards, the highest award given for tourism service in Randolph County were given to Beverly Mooney of Millstone Creek Orchards and Tony Wohlgemuth of Kersey Valley Attractions.

The 2020 Hospitality Hero Awards for outstanding service at the I-73/74 Visitor Centers in Seagrove went to employees Doyle Craven and Benita McNeill.

About Beverly Mooney:

As the owner of Millstone Creek Orchards, Mooney operates an agritourism focused orchard and farm in Ramseur, NC. This spring, she transformed her farm stand into the Apple Barn Mobile Market and delivered fresh produce and goods from local farms to shut-in neighbors in need of food delivery. She revamped her annual summer fruit picking, fall pumpkin patch, hayrides, and holiday light event into #CountOnMeNC certified safe visitor experiences. Her efforts captured national attention and were included in a July 2020 Smithsonian Magazine article.

Meet Tony Wohlgemuth:

Wohlgemuth is best known as the mastermind behind Kersey Valley Spookywoods, touted by O The Oprah Magazine in 2020 as one of the best-haunted houses in America. As the owner of Kersey Valley Attractions in Archdale, NC, Wohlgemuth pivoted and developed a new app for the Spookywoods experience to “save Halloween.” The app allowed for social distancing and timed entry as guests waited in their cars and played games. In addition, Wohlgemuth and his team worked to transform ziplines, ax throwing, escape rooms, high ropes courses, and more into #CountOnMeNC certified safe attractions.

About Benita McNeill and Doyle Craven:

Both employees showed leadership through dramatic pandemic changes in the way they embraced and supported safety measures for visitor center team members and guests. Scarlett says McNeill, who has been at the Visitor Centers since 2012, is “known for her passion for the area and eagerness to help others. She’s faithful, factual, honest, and dependable.” Craven joined the team in 2019. Scarlett says his “quiet spirit influences others to become successful.”

“We are so lucky to have all four of these outstanding tourism professionals in our county. I’m grateful to each of them – and to so many of our small businesses – for coming together and supporting each other as we journey through this pandemic,” Scarlett says.

About the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau –

The Randolph County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) operates the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the destination marketing organization for Randolph County. It represents Archdale, Asheboro, Franklinville, Ramseur, Randleman, Seagrove, Staley, and Trinity. The TDA operates the I-73/74 Visitor Centers in Seagrove in cooperation with the NC Department of Transportation.

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