The Triangle North Carolina Chapter of National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) honored the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club at its annual awards ceremony, The Best of NACE Awards Gala, held at the Preston Country Club in Cary, North Carolina.

Some of the awards the hotel received included the Best Service at an Event for NACEablanca, Best Plated Food Presentation for the Faculty Dinner Dance, and Best Buffet for the 25th Anniversary Donor Recognition. The Inn’s conference planning manger Laura Petersen won the Spirit of NACE Award and director of operations, food, and beverage Don Ball won the Peter Daymont Lifetime Achievement Award.  

"The Inn is thrilled to be recognized with such high praises by NACE during this awards program that honors its members’ highest achievements and outstanding contributions to the catering profession,” says general manager Randy Kolls.

“The recipient of [the Lifetime Achievement} award has fundamentally changed the landscape of our organization and helped make the Triangle North Carolina chapter one of the most recognized in the country,” says Kathleen Wright, former NACE president and special events coordinator at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. “During his term as chapter president, a prime financial infrastructure was put into place. His focus on fiscal responsibility helped set specific financial goals and establish a foundation of revenue to fund scholarships. Always the life of the party, he set a tradition of active board participation with fun themes and costuming, seamlessly integrating education and entertainment.”

In addition to local NACE leadership, Ball has also served on a national level as a vice chair of the chapter Presidents’ Council, national vice president of membership, and treasurer of the foundation of NACE. Ball joined the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in 1997 as general manager of the Fairview Dining Room, the Bull Durham Bar and the hotel’s in-room dining service.

Ball plays an active role in the Inn’s day-to-day operations. He also oversees food and beverage services and staff throughout the hotel, including the Fairview Dining Room, Vista Restaurant, Bull Durham Bar, Nineteen Golf Grill, in-room dining services, and catering operations.

He is still the creative engineer behind many of the Inn’s VIP and holiday events. He will celebrate his 18-year anniversary with the hotel in August.

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