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Atlanta Inducts 4 into Hospitality Hall of Fame

(Pictured above, L-R: Ed Bastian, Leona BarrDavenport, Renee Perdue Rucker and Gary P. Stokan)

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau is inducting four new members into the Atlanta  Hospitality Hall of Fame in its 21st year.

To be held Nov. 6 at Delta Flight Museum, the induction ceremony adds Ed Bastian, Leona BarrDavenport, Renee Perdue Rucker and Gary P. Stokan to the esteemed list of previous honorees.

“Our four new inductees represent the depth, diversity and talent of Atlanta’s hospitality community,” says William Pate, president and CEO, ACVB. “We are thrilled to recognize these individuals life-long achievements in making Atlanta a welcoming city for all visitors.”

Ed Bastian serves as chief executive officer for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, and will be a keynote speaker at CES in Las Vegas in January.

Throughout his 20-year career with Delta, Bastian has served as vice president–finance and controller, senior vice president, chief financial officer and president. Since being selected as CEO in 2016, Delta has sustained profitability, was named the world’s most awarded airline, achieved Wall Street Journal’s ranking of top U.S. airline and expanded its global footprint. Bastian leads more than 80,000 global employeeswas named as one of Fortune magazine’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2018 and was elected to the Council of Foreign Relations in 2019. 

Leona Barr-Davenport is president and CEO of Atlanta Business Leaguethe oldest minority business development and advocacy organization in the city. Barr-Davenport works to provide increased access to the development of minority-owned businesses. She comes from a 31-year background of civic involvement including work with Atlanta Development Authority, Metro Atlanta Opportunities Industrialization Center and the Better Business Bureau. Barr-Davenport serves on the advisory boards for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Woodruff Arts Center, International Women’s Forum and The Commerce Club. She was named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of 100 Most Influential Atlantans, awarded the Aspiring Women Award from Atlanta Dream and earned the Spirit of Greatness Award from Clark Atlanta University.

Renee Perdue Rucker currently leads SecurAmerica as security director. Prior to joining SecurAmerica, Rucker served 22 years as part of the Downtown Improvement District Ambassador Force, beginning as one of the original field trainer officers in 1996 and ultimately achieving the position of manager of special events training and communications. Rucker served as a representative for the Ambassador Force with appearances in radio commercials, publications and billboards throughout the city. During her tenure with the group, she received the Supervisor of the Year Award twice along with the MARTA Police Award of Valor. 

Gary P. Stokan is president and CEO of Peach Bowl, Inc. Holding the position since 1998, Stokan secured Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as a New Year’s Six bowl game and generated more than $1.06 billion in direct government tax revenue for Atlanta. Under Stokan’s leadership, 18 of the last 20 bowl games have sold outAdditionally, he served as an integral part in creating Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge golf tournament for charity and Atlanta Sports Awards. He also assisted efforts to relocate Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta in 2014. Atlanta Business Chronicle honored Stokan multiple times as one of the 100 most influential Atlantans, top 50 leader in Atlanta hospitality and one of Atlanta’s most admired CEOs. He was inducted into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. 

In addition to honoring the 2019 Hospitality Hall of Fame inductees, ACVB will present the second annual Spurgeon Richardson Member of the Year Award. This year’s finalists include Active Production & DesignHyatt Regency Atlanta and Legendary Events. Brenda Archie of Residence Inn by Marriott Atlanta Downtown will also be honored as Volunteer of the Year. 

Established in 1913, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the city and serves to favorably impact Atlanta’s economy through conventions and tourism. A private, not-for-profit organization, ACVB bolsters Atlanta’s $16 billion hospitality industry which generated 56 million visitors in 2018. For more info, visit atlanta.net . 

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