Hospitality Association awards highest honors at Pineapple Dinner

Pineapple Dinner (Source: Jeff White Photography)
Pineapple Dinner (Source: Jeff White Photography)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Huntsville-Madison county Hospitality Association held a dinner to honor the outstanding accomplishments of hospitality professionals in the Huntsville and Madison County community.

The dinner was held at the Jackson Center Tuesday to honor members who have shown true hospitality and professionalism in the industry.

Winning individuals are those who work to enhance the area's image, promote tourism, are considered role models and are active in the hospitality industry and community.

There are two categories of winners that include the Pineapple and Red Ribbon awards.

The winners of the Red Ribbon award include:

  • Imran Hussain, the General Manager of Embassy suites Hotel and Spa.
  • David Martin, a restaurant entrepreneur behind SteakOut, Rosie's Mexican Cantina, Phil Sandovals Mexican Restaurante, Walton's Southern Table, Blue Plate Cafe and many others.
  • Sllison Dillon-Jauken, the Executive Director of The Arts Council.
  • Bennie Jacks of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

The Pineapple award is given for the contributions of an individual or group not employed in the hospitality industry who has made an impact on the industry.

The award was given to Jim Hudson, who was recognized for his investment of time, talent and capital in the area.

Hudson is the co-founder of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. This has brought diversity to Huntsville's economy, as well as put the city on the map as a leader in the biotechnology field.

He is also the driving force behind Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment, the largest private arts facility in the nation. This has increased tourism and travel to Madison County and also increased the quality of life for Northern Alabamians.

"Jim Hudson has played an integral role in making Huntsville/Madison County the destination it is today, not only for the arts by also in his development work that has re-energized downtown Huntsville." President and CEO of the CVB, Judy Ryals said. "His philanthropic projects and vision for the area is a great example of what makes our community shine."

The Taste of Huntsville is also hosted annually by the Huntsville-Madison County Hospitality Association and proceeds from the event are distributed to charitable organization in the community.

The Taste of Huntsville was able to raise $18,000 this year and was presented at the Pineapple Dinner to Court Appointed Juvenile Advocates and Family Services Center.

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