you're reading...


John Kurti will live on in hospitality award

March 22. The ​late John Kurti, a long-time Cornelius resident and businessman, posthumously received the “Unsung Hospitality Hero​” at the Visit Lake Norman annual meeting.

​He was a founding member ​of the VLN ​board of directors and served on the board for ​more than​ 16 years​.

​The Unsung Hero award will be renamed in his honor, said Sally Ashworth, executive director of the convention and visitors bureau, which is based in Cornelius.

​Kurti, 72, was a fixture at the Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg. He passed away after a luncheon meeting in January.​ ​Kurti was also one of the longest-serving members of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He opened Mailboxes Etc. back in the 1990s, which later morphed into the UPS Store.​

He was a mentor to many business owners, as a SCORE counselor through the Small Business Administration. Kurti’s daughter, Keren Kurti Alexander, accepted the award from Ashworth.

​Visit Lake Norman had several other awards as well. ​The ​”​Outshines from the Front Lines​” award ​went to Minnie Cole, ​b​reakfast ​a​ttendant ​at​ the Residence Inn Lake Norman. The ​”​Stellar Seller​” was given to Debra Schmidt, ​d​irector of ​s​ales for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Huntersville. The ​”​Lead to Succeed​”​ award winner ​was ​Juan Robles, ​g​eneral ​m​anager for the Comfort Suites in Huntersville.

​Other award winners included North Harbor Club​, River Run Tennis Center​ and the​ Carolina Renaissance Festival.