22nd Annual Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame Will Induct Four New Honorees

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) will recognize four new individuals at the 22nd annual event Wednesday, Oct. 20. Held at Zoo Atlanta’s Savanna Hall, the ceremony will honor Carl Adkins, Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., Nancy Gordy Simms and Steve Smith as outstanding members of Atlanta’s hospitality community.  

“Atlanta’s hospitality industry is resilient and that is reflected in our 2021 inductees,” said William Pate, president and CEO, ACVB. “As we celebrate the rebound of business, we are honored to recognize these individuals’ contributions to the destination.”

Carl Adkins served as executive director of Atlanta’s local organizing committee for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2020. He was responsible for citywide planning, promotion and coordination for all aspects of each of the three large-scale sporting events. Adkins also worked at the Georgia Dome for 21 years, starting as assistant general manager before being promoted to general manager. A 43-year veteran of Public Assembly Venues and Event Management, he held various roles and served as an on-site operational consultant for 16 Super Bowls. Adkins served in leadership roles with several industry-related associations such as chair of the Board of Governors of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell, Board of Directors of the Stadium Manager’s Association Foundation, IAVM Board of Directors and Atlanta Sports Council.

Jeffrey L. Portman Sr. is vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of AMC, Inc., the world’s largest trade mart/trade show organization and the parent company of AmericasMart Atlanta. He manages operations which bring tens of thousands of visitors annually to the city, generating more than $478 million in direct economic impact. Under Portman’s leadership, AmericasMart Atlanta has been named to Trade Show Executive magazine’s coveted Gold 100 listing of the world’s largest and most important trade shows as well as the magazine’s Fastest 50, which honors the fastest-growing U.S. trade shows and markets. AmericasMart’s January and July markets have also been named to Trade Show News Network’s Top-250 listing of the largest U.S. shows. Portman served on ACVB’s board of directors and executive committee from 2003 to 2018.

Nancy Gordy Simms is chairman of the board of The Varsity Restaurants and formerly served as CEO. She took over the family business in 1983 after her father, Frank Gordy, passed away. Simms is an emeritus member of the Reinhardt University Board of Trustees. She was named Woman of the Year in 2010 by the Buckhead Girls Club and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Atlanta. She is also a member of National Restaurant Association, Metro Atlanta Chamber and Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Steve Smith is a partner of Pendleton Consulting Group and brings 25 years of business leadership experience to governmental, corporate and non-profit clients. He leads Pendleton’s project review teams and has authored economic analysis reports for some of Georgia’s largest cities and counties. Smith joined ACVB’s board of directors and executive committee in 2003 and went on to serve as chair of the finance and HR committees in 2006 and 2007 and chair of the board in 2008 and 2009. Smith’s leadership experience has included serving as the associate superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools, vice president of corporate responsibility and governmental affairs for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and director of administrative services for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

In addition to honoring the 2021 Hospitality Hall of Fame inductees, ACVB will present the third annual Spurgeon Richardson Member of the Year Award. This year’s winner is Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson, LLP.

Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company and Atlanta Business Chronicle serve as presenting sponsors for this year’s Hospitality Hall of Fame. Individual tickets or tables are available for purchase at DiscoverAtlanta.com/HHOF.

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