The Pauly Awards

National Travel and Tourism week is celebrated during the first week of May to promote travel and highlight hospitality and tourism. During this week, the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association (GKHA) recognizes our “Stars of the Industry” — the individuals who continue to smile after working long hours and those who make our guests feel welcomed.

The PAULY, like a Grammy, an Emmy or a Tony award, represents dedication, devotion and hard work to an industry – ours is the hospitality industry.

Like the other awards, the PAULY is named for a special person who provided us with vision, determination and leadership. Paul Sherbakoff was such a gentleman.

He managed several hotels in Knoxville; He managed the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum and he was on the development task force of the Knoxville Convention Center. He co-wrote the original occupancy tax legislation and helped establish Knoxville’s first Convention & Visitors Bureau. He was a 2 time President of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association.

And, of course, he was a University of Tennessee graduate.

He worked our long hours and he knew the rewards and satisfaction of a job well done.

Because of Paul’s encouragement and persistence, the University of Tennessee began providing a couple of classes in Food and Lodging in the early 70’s. It has grown to include a master’s degree and is an internationally recognized program.

The Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association along with sponsor, UT Retail, Hospitality, Tourism Management are proud to present the PAULY Awards to individuals and companies who epitomize the true spirit of hospitality. They are the driving force behind our industry’s success.

The Nomination Categories

Every year, we nominate winners for the following categories:

Outstanding General Managers & Managers of the Year (Lodging, Restaurant, Tourism, Service/Supplier)

The Outstanding General Manager and Manager awards provides each segment with an opportunity to recognize a general manager/manager who has demonstrated outstanding contributions in leadership, service and community civic affairs. The nominees are judged on performance that exceeds normal job responsibilities and contributes outstanding service to the business/property, customers/guests and community.

Outstanding Tourism Property of the Year

The Outstanding Tourism Property (Museum/Attraction, Convention Center, CVB, Tourism Department, Theatres, etc.) award provides an opportunity to recognize a property that has made a significant achievement through a new marketing effort, special exhibit or community event.

Outstanding Service/Supplier of the Year

The Outstanding Service/Supplier award is presented to a company in recognition of the professional contribution they have made to the businesses and organizations in the hospitality/tourism industry. These members provide special support services in a variety of ways and are a valuable partner with the hospitality/tourism industry.

Outstanding Employees of the Year (Lodging, Restaurant , Tourism, Service/Supplier)

The Outstanding Employee awards provides each segment with an opportunity to recognize exemplary professionalism and service by an employee. The nominations are judged on performance that goes above and beyond normal job responsibilities and outstanding and unusual service to the property/restaurant/business, guests, customers and community.

Community Service of the Year

The Community Service award is presented to a Lodging Property, Restaurant or Tourism Property that provides service and demonstrates responsiveness to the local community. Examples include campaigns to benefit local or national service organizations, non-profits and charities or service to any part of the community through special and joint undertakings with community groups for the benefit of the area.

Good Earth Keeping Award of the Year & Special Event Award of the Year

Good Earth Keeping awards are presented to a Lodging Property, Restaurant or Tourism Property to recognize properties
that have developed a culture toward integrating environmental management practices with everyday operations, while maintaining quality service and meeting guest expectations.

Special Events awards are given for public relations programs or campaigns that demonstrate a creative approach to scheduled events, anniversaries, charity events, holidays or special publicity events.

Women In Tourism & Hospitality Leader of the Year & Young Professional Emerging Leader of the Year

WITH award is presented to a female hospitality professional who serves as a leader and role model within hospitality community. Candidates should describe noteworthy accomplishments, leadership roles, volunteer positions and personal initiative.

Young Professional Emerging Leader Award winner should be under age 30 who has demonstrated superior professional dedication, leadership and a fresh perspective to their job. The recipient should also exemplify the characteristics that lead to success in the hospitality industry-enthusiasm, “out of the box” thinking in their professional and personal life and a dedication to the industry by active participation in association, community and industry programs.

Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year award is presented to an individual that demonstrates a significant commitment to an area attraction/museum or service organization throughout the year or has accomplished a specific project for an area attraction/museum or service organization.

Friendliest Face of the Year

The Friendliest Face award recognizes an individual in the hospitality/tourism industry that has provided superior
customer service throughout the year or has demonstrated a commitment to customer service through a specific event.