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Hillsborough Street Awards

Every year at the Live It Up! Hillsborough Street Annual Meeting, the organization honors the people and organizations who have helped move the district forward with their commitment to excellence. These individuals exhibit the best in customer service, performance, and lifetime commitment to the success of the Hillsborough Street Community.

Hero Award 
The Hillsborough Street Hero Award recognizes a person or organization, who has made a major contribution to the overall success of the Hillsborough Street Community.

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a business or organization within the Hillsborough Street District that has been established for a minimum of 10 years, contributes to the vitality of the District, demonstrates quality customer service, and goes above and beyond the duties of the establishment to promote the advancement of the District. 

NC State Employee of the Year
The NC State Employee of the Year Award is one given in gratitude for a person's exemplary leadership within NC State University and their continued efforts to make Hillsborough Street a distinct destination in Raleigh. 

Government Employee of the Year
The City Employee of the Year Award recognizes a city employee or team that shows leadership within the City and partners with the Hillsborough Street District to continue make it a Raleigh destination. 

Ambassador of the Year
The Clean and Safe Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes the Ambassador that has shown outstanding performance on and off the street. The recipient of this award has shown an eagerness to perform his duties, demonstrated a consistent high level of customer service, and takes initiative in keeping Hillsborough Street clean and safe.

Merchant Design Award
The Merchant Design Award recognizes a district merchant for their attractive business design and enhancement of the visitor experience. 

2022 Annual Meeting Award Recipients

Tyler Craft - Hero Award
Senior Vice President, First Horizon Bank


Tyler is the Senior Vice President, Head of VirtualBank and Fintech at First Horizon Bank. He and his wife Susan have been Raleighites since 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with bachelors degrees in international studies with a focus in global economics and business and political science with minors in French and economics. In his spare time, Tyler serves on the board of DHIC, Inc (a local non-profit affordable housing developer), is a board member of the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, is an Elder at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, and supports other local initiatives to positively impact his community, including his many years as an HSCSC Board Member.

Mitch Hazouri (Mitch's Tavern) - Lifetime Achievement Award
Former Owner/Operator


Mitch’s Tavern has been a mainstay of Hillsborough Street for nearly fifty years, serving as the gathering place for generations of N-C State students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as Raleighites of all ages and backgrounds. The staple institution also has it’s place in cinematic lore, having being featured in the 1988 film “Bull Durham.” After being closed for the pandemic, we are all thrilled to see its doors reopen on Hillsborough Street.

Whitney Knollenberg - NC State Employee of the Year
Assistant Professor, NC State


Dr. Knollenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. In this role, she teaches classes and conducts research related to sustainable tourism. Her research focuses on helping tourism industry leaders communicate the value of tourism and develop tourism in a way that maximizes its positive impacts. She has played a crucial role for both the HSCSC and the BRCA, both in terms of knowledge assistance and intern placement.

Marchell Adams-David - Government Employee of the Year
City Manager, Raleigh


Marchell Adams-David has nearly three decades of experience working in local government, including as assistant city manager of Raleigh before her current position, during which time she served as a city liaison to the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation board. She is the City’s seventh City Manager, now leading the city of more than half a million people during a time of great change and urban movement, and putting to great use her double degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ricardo Kearney - Ambassador of the Year


Ricardo has been a crucial member of the Clean & Safe Ambassador team for several years. He has played an integral role in keeping our district clean of trash and debris, as well as assisting people navigate the area. He also seems to be the one around when someone needs a wallet retrieved or a car restarted, always there to lend a helping hand to our guests. His smiling face and positive attitude are just two of the many reasons he is an invaluable asset to the Hillsborough Street community.

Jubala Coffee - Merchant Design Award


Jubala Coffee was designed to be a place where the community can relax, connect and engage. A locally-owned community landmark near the infamous NC State Memorial Belltower, you can find Raleighites, students and visitors alike taking advantage of the outdoor patio and the freshly brewed coffee, in addition to the delicious snacks available.