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Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award to be presented at HPBExpo

In tribute to the late Donna H. Myers, a leading advocate and expert in the barbecue industry who died in January 2011, the Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award will be presented at the upcoming HPBExpo, which will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, March 1-3.

Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership AwardDonna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award
The award, which honors leadership in the barbecue industry, will be given posthumously to Myers in its first year. To be presented at the HPBExpo Tailgate & Big Green Egg Celebrity Chef Cook-Off, which takes place March 1 from 5-6:30 p.m., the award is sponsored by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and Casual Living.

"Donna Myers was the most effective spokesperson for the barbecue industry for many, many years, and she loved - and led - the industry," said HPBA Communications Director Leslie Wheeler. "HPBA and Casual Living are honored to present this leadership award, in her name, to her as its first recipient."

"[Myers] was a leader in getting the message out about barbecuing and grilling long before it was as popular as it is today," said Norman Hamilton, publisher of Casual Living. "Given the credibility that Donna brought to Casual Living by being our barbecue writer, we thought that this would be a good way to recognize Donna as well as others who have helped shape the barbecue industry. In conjunction with HPBA, we have come up with this award so the generations to follow will realize that one person's efforts can make a difference to an entire industry."

Many in the industry - including retailers, manufacturers large and small, and inventors hoping to break into the industry with a new product - praised Myers for her willingness to share her time, expertise and advice.

"[Myers] served as a great consultant, as a confidant, and as a touchstone," said Stephanie Richardson, current barbecue columnist for Casual Living. "Every day, she went above and beyond to connect people and put people together. Donna was ready, willing and able to share her treasure box of knowledge with anyone who asked."

"I think the award is tremendous, but there's probably no award that can do justice to the power, strength and leadership that Donna had in the industry," said Ray Shelor, national sales manager, DiversiTech Corporation. "As compared to Donna, the award is small in stature but great in meaning. She was a dominating force."

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