The Paducah Hospitality Association (PHA) began 2013 with its annual awards dinner and installation of officers. Steven Vest, Publisher of Kentucky Monthly, was the featured speaker at the banquet held at Walker Hall in Paducah.

Tonya Grady of Paducah and Marcus Phelps of Benton, outstanding students in the WKCTC Culinary Arts Program, received PHA Charles Armstrong Scholarships.

Linda Crowe-Curtis, Whaler’s Catch Catering, was awarded the Bobbi Holman Award for her years of service to the community. The Bobbi Holman Award, named for the late Paducah restaurateur, is the highest honor a PHA member can receive. Ruby Armstrong and Bennett Chambers received Spirit of Hospitality honors.

The new slate of officers is as follows: President Eddie Grant, Barkley Regional Airport; Vice President Susan Edwards, National Quilt Museum; Secretary/Treasurer Darrel Gargus, Drury Hotels.

Grant shared his vision for the year: "My goal is to continue to enrich the level of hospitality that our industry provides to those who visit Paducah by working with our partners to raise the level of service we provide.”

In 2011, the tourism and travel industry contributed nearly $11.7 billion to Kentucky’s economy with more than $190.4 million in McCracken County directly. Statewide tourism continues to grow and is the third largest industry in the state.

The Paducah Hospitality Association exists to support, promote and enhance the lodging, restaurants and tourism industry within the City of Paducah and the surrounding areas. It provides Paducah’s hospitality businesses with networking opportunities and industry resources. For more information about PHA membership and benefits, contact Membership Director Summer Rhea.