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 IACC Press Release  Press 

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club Prepares for Future, Adds Senior Level Staff


Contact: Jim Bressler
Company: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Phone: 919.313.2159
Fax: 919.313.2164

DURHAM, NC (February 17, 2005) -- Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

February 15, 2005: Known for its gracious hospitality, exceptional service and outstanding cuisine, the Four Diamond award-winning Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, located in Durham, North Carolina, is pleased to announce additions to their senior level staff: Melinda Arndt, director of conference services, and Diane Tighe, director of catering, both of whom are longtime staff members at the Inn, and newcomer, David Johnson, director of information technology.

The latest round of hires is just another step towards completion of the Inn's planned $25 million renovation and expansion project. In their new roles, Arndt, Tighe and Johnson will support the Inn's expansion into new markets while ensuring a superior experience for every guest. “It only makes good business sense to add the most talented personnel to our staff as we expand our facilities and audiences,” explains Randy Kolls, general manager of the Inn. “It's about having the right people to do what the job requires.”

A significant portion of the hotel's expansion and renovation project includes the addition of an Independent Association of Conferences & Conventions (IACC)-approved executive conference center. The new center will provide businesses and organizations from around the world a distraction-free atmosphere that encourages creative thinking and enhances productivity. Arndt, Tighe and Johnson will in large part service this new facility.

“We are strategically preparing the Inn for growth by hiring well-trained, highly regarded professionals,” says Kolls. “Yes, we're getting bigger but this is all about getting better.”

Ms. Arndt has been with the hotel for three years in the capacity of Conference Services Manager. As the new Director of Conference Services, she will be responsible for the Inn's growing meeting planner and conference services agenda and will oversee the executive conference center's day-to-day operations.

Ms. Tighe is nearing her sixth anniversary as the Catering Sales Manager and onsite wedding consultant at the Inn. As the Director of Catering, Tighe will focus on expansion of opportunities created by the property's enlarged banquet facilities and increased number of venues for events. In addition to these responsibilities, she will continue serving as the hotel's onsite wedding consultant.

Mr. Johnson comes to the Inn after most recently serving as a consultant to The Houstonian Hotel in Houston, Texas and as Corporate Director of Information Technology for Benchmark Hospitality, also based in Texas. As the Inn's IT Director, Johnson will lead the hotel's efforts to position itself as an industry model for technological proficiency, electronic marketing and e-commerce initiatives.

“We want to create a seamless transition from home or work at the Inn,” states Johnson. “And we will do whatever we can to make sure that our guests have the resources they need to make that possible.”

At the completion of the renovation and expansion project, the executive conference center will boast state-of-the-art technologies such as wireless and high-speed Internet access, ergonomically-designed chairs, non-glare writing tables with built-in data/electrical ports and sophisticated audio/visual capabilities as well as a conference center concierge, expanded guest transportation and business services.

In fact, every guest who desires will be able to access the Internet from anywhere in the hotel. Already, in addition to many of the guest rooms, many public areas in the hotel offer wireless Internet access. “Guests can now relax in our Lobby, Sun Room, or Bull Durham Lounge and correspond with business associates or stay in touch with friends or family while away from home,” says Johnson.

The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is located on the campus of Duke University and is the only AAA Four Diamond hotel in Durham. Nestled on 300 acres filled with tall pines and hardwoods, the Inn is known for its beautiful facility and grounds, 171 elegantly-appointed guest rooms and suites, marvelous cuisine at the Four Diamond Fairview dining room, 18-hole championship golf course, and convenience to local points of interest. It is set apart from other area hotels and conference centers by its unparalleled service, gracious staff, luxurious interiors and attention to detail. The Inn is owned by Duke University and is managed by The Continental Companies of Miami, Florida. For more information or reservations, call 919.490.0999, 1.800.443.3853 or visit

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Press inquiries or photography contact:

Jim Bressler, Director of Sales and Marketing
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
3001 Cameron Blvd.
Durham, NC 27705

Public Relations:
Wendy Shannon
Shannon & Company
100 Galleria Parkway SE, Suite 990
Atlanta, GA 30339

© 2004 IACC North America
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