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Winston Kelley is the executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to joining the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2006, Kelley spent more than 27 years with Duke Power and Duke Energy serving in a wide variety of managerial and executive capacities, most recently as vice president of economic and business development and vice president of government and business relations for Duke Energy Carolinas.
In addition to his wealth of private sector experience, Kelley brings a lifelong background in NASCAR and an immense enthusiasm for the sport. Born into a racing family, Kelley’s passion for NASCAR began after he attended his first race in 1964 – the Daytona 500. Kelley regularly attended races with his father, Earl Kelley, through childhood and into his college years. Earl served as the first public relations director for the Charlotte Motor Speedway and was also a pioneer public address announcer and member of the Universal Racing Network radio broadcast team. Kelley attained one of his lifelong dreams when he became a member of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) radio broadcasting team in 1988. To this day, he still reports and serves as MRN Radio's lead pit reporter.
Kelley began working in NASCAR in 1981 and his background includes working as a race statistician for the Universal Racing Network, a public address announcer for numerous NASCAR facilities including the North Wilkesboro Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway and Daytona International Speedway, and as a reporter for “NASCAR This Morning” on Fox Sports Net (FSN).
Kelley also serves the Charlotte community through a number of civic organizations. Among many, he currently participates on the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce board of advisors, chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Foundation Executive Committee and board of directors, vice chairman of the 600 Festival Executive Committee and board of directors, and the Governor’s Motorsports Advisory Council. Other past activities include serving on the Charlotte Center City Partners executive committee and board of directors, the Classroom Central’s founding board of directors, the Charlotte Research Institute’s board of directors, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Charlotte Regional Partnership Executive Governing Committee and board of directors, UNC-Charlotte's Belk College of Business Sports Advisory Council, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and board of directors, the Union County Arts Council board of directors, the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Chester County Communities in Schools boards of directors.
Kelley graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina State University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in business management and economics. A native of Concord, North Carolina, Kelley currently resides in Charlotte.
Thomas P. (Tom) Murray is the chief executive officer of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), which is responsible for promoting hospitality, tourism and conventions throughout the Charlotte, N.C. region.
The 200-employee CRVA has an operational budget of $50 million, which includes marketing and new business development programs as well as management of Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte Convention Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Murray has 30 years of international hotel and hospitality executive experience, resulting in a strong expertise in hotel operations, finance, sales, branding, marketing, real estate and franchise development, hotel construction, human resources, and strategic planning and execution. His experience spans hands-on management of hotel properties to strategic planning for multi-national corporations.
For more than six years, Murray served in executive management positions with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) of Atlanta, where he rose to the position of chief operating officer for the Americas. Under his leadership, Intercontinental experienced a historic period of growth, including the acquisition of Candlewood and creation of Hotel Indigo.
Murray managed hotels for Intercontinental in 23 countries including a large operation in the U.S. and was responsible for revenues of $2 billion. He also managed development and construction, including the successful development of new prototypes for Holiday Inn and Intercontinental.
Prior to joining InterContinental Hotels, Murray served with Red Lion Hotels for three years as senior vice president for Hilton Hotel Corporation. He directed the dramatic growth of the brand from nine to 56 hotels before the brand was sold to West Coast Hospitality. Murray oversaw all areas of operation, strategic planning, branding, marketing and development.
Murray also served as vice president for franchise development for Promus Hotels Corporation of Memphis where he worked with numerous leading hotel brands, including Doubletree Hotels, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suite and Hampton Inn. During his seven years with Promus, Murray’s responsibilities included franchise management and development of company owned and managed hotels.
Before joining the CRVA, Murray served as chief executive officer of Lindblad Expeditions of New York, where he led a financial and marketing turnaround of the 30-year-old, ship-based expedition cruise business that operates in alliance with National Geographic. Through his leadership and the support of a private equity firm and two other senior members of the corporate staff, Lindblad was restored to financial and operational health.
Following graduation from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy, Murray worked with the Marriott Hotels Corporation in Bethesda, Md. for more than nine years in various operations and accounting positions. He served as assistant controller and controller for numerous Marriott properties, including the first Marriott property in Canada. Murray and his wife, Alison, have two daughters.