Sunday, April 18, 2010

Annual Tribute Luncheon And Unique Sense of Place

Durham’s Annual Tribute Luncheon is coming up April 28th.  It has been sold out for weeks but I’m sure table sponsors are still filling their seats.ATL_logo

The luncheon’s purpose is to bring tribute to individuals and groups who shape and promote Durham’s unique sense of place.

For nearly two decades, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB,) with a mission that includes using tourism as the steward for Durham’s unique sense of place, has produced this luncheon in lieu of the traditional annual meeting where organizations and all too often executives spend far too much time trying to bring attention to themselves.

The ATL as it is affectionately known by its loyal sponsors, typically draws one of the largest turnouts but also one of the most diverse audiences of any event in Durham.

This year honors Eddie Belk and Frank DePasquale, two Durham architects responsible for most of the adaptive reuse projects in Durham, e.g. millions of square feet of beautiful, brick tobacco warehouses with unique architectural details, converted to space for restaurants, stores and offices.

Last year when the luncheon honored the pioneers for Durham’s social enterprises and entrepreneurships, those terms were still not widely known, although I had picked up the term years ago in Fast Company Magazine.

It may just be coincidence, but less than a year later, enterprises like Durham native Ryan Allis’s iContact are moving in that direction (Ryan has always had it as his core) and another Durham native, Christopher Gergen’s Bull City Forward is working to make Durham even more of a center for social innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Kudos to DCVB’s Tourism Development Authority for using its influence to bring attention to the importance of Durham’s unique sense of place.

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