Justin Wright, senior audiovisual technician for M&M Productions USA, earned employee of the year honors at the Pauly Awards, which recognizes outstanding members of the hospitality and tourism industry in the Knoxville area.
He won Outstanding Employee of the Year in the service and supplier category for exemplary professionalism and service that goes above and beyond regular job responsibilities. The award winners were announced April 26 at the annual celebration held by the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association before the kickoff of National Travel and Tourism Week in May.
Justin shared some the lessons he has learned along the way that are relevant across industries:
- Hold yourself and your work to a high standard and pay meticulous attention to detail.
- Check your ego at the door – your team takes precedence.
- Listen to understand.
- Produce work that you can have pride in, too.
- Focus first on the customer.
- Be proactive.
- Understand the client’s goals and let those lead the plan.
The awards are given annually by the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association (GKHA) to recognize “Stars of the Industry” – businesses and individuals that work directly in the hospitality industry or for related services or suppliers and “epitomize the true spirit of hospitality.”
The PAULY Awards are named for the late Paul Sherbakoff, a two-time president of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association (TnHTA). He helped establish Knoxville’s first visitors’ bureau and co-wrote the original occupancy tax legislation.
“If Justin can make the customer happy and have every detail anticipated and covered, that’s the definition of success for him,” said Mike Brown, founder, president and CEO of M&M Productions USA. “His proactive approach and ability to really listen to the needs of our clients make him a tremendous asset for our company. We’re thrilled to celebrate this honor with Justin.”
Justin joined the company in 2013 after graduating from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He assists with event setup and controls all aspects of event production related to sound and lighting. Wright works from setup through teardown to ensure clients are delighted with the design and execution at every step.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association and by industry peers who understand all that goes in to each production,” Wright said. “Our team is committed to excellence and that starts at the top. I thank Mike Brown for his leadership and for investing in me to help me excel. I also thank my girlfriend, Callie, for inspiration and for bringing out the best in me.”
A Knoxville native, Justin lives in the Cedar Bluff area with his three dogs, Bowman, Palmer and Penelope. He has a passion for training dogs and serves his community by volunteering production time at local churches.
About M&M Productions USA
Based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, M&M Productions USA is a full-service event planning and production company. The company provides turnkey solutions for full production events, breakout meeting management, audience response systems, lighting and stage design, video production, digital signage, script writing, speaker training, webcasting, virtual conferences, live broadcast services and event choreography. Customers, such as the White House Office of Communications, NCAA, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Energy and Ripley Entertainment, discover that the certified professionals at M&M Productions deliver the best experience possible for all audience members. In 2018, M&M Productions USA received the Impact Award at the 15th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards Gala hosted by the Knoxville Chamber. For more information, visit www.mmproductionsusa.com.