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The Wilderman Group Names William Owen as General Manager
of the Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, North Carolina

(Charleston, SC) – December 19, 2012 – Kristin Kurie, President of the Charleston, SC-based Wilderman Group announced the appointment of William Owen of Kernersville, NC as General Manager at the year-old multi-use 30,000-square-foot Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, NC.  When making the announcement, Ms. Kurie cited Mr. Owen’s 25 years of experience in hospitality that includes food & beverage, catering, convention and banquet services, and operations.  His background includes nine years with Starwood Hotels, three years with the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, and most recently with Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Kurie noted that Owen’s accomplishments in hospitality are spot-on appropriate for Gastonia Conference Center as he brings valuable experience in complex, multi-unit food and beverage operations. He also has extensive experience in the meetings segment and has served in regional management positions in the meetings and conventions market. Kurie also noted, “Bill excels at operational management and fostering a strong working relationship with the local community and other strategic partners on many levels.  This will be very appropriate in helping to cultivate a strong bond with the local business community in Gastonia.”

As General Manager, Bill will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility, which is registered for LEED-Gold certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).  He will also be responsible for sales and marketing, accounting and purchasing, food and beverage, housekeeping and facility maintenance, catering and conference services, audio/visual and technology, and the environmental sustainability programs on property.

Gastonia Conference Center, which opened in November 2011, has successfully established a solid foundation of support from the local business community through civic, not-for-profit, and local corporate business which is consistent with the goals set forth by management team at The Wilderman Group.  Kurie said, “As this foundation expands, the local community prospers and grows.  Under Bill’s direction, the Gastonia Conference Center Partners Program will continue to develop as manufacturing and engineering business expands in the greater Charlotte area.”  The Wilderman Group projects that as these new firms move into the area, Gastonia Conference Center will continue to work closely with those organizations as partners with Gaston County to help establish roots and plan their strategic growth in the County and strengthen economic development.

Bill will be instrumental in cultivating organizations that conduct meetings in the region and bring their business to Gastonia Conference Center as their preferred event venue. Repeat business continues to be very strong and reflects solid support for the conference center and its operation.  Kurie notes, “when we bring meetings and events to the conference center, that brings additional revenue to the community via hotel rooms, restaurants, stores, and services. A win-win situation.”

Bill and his family are relocating to Gastonia.

Gastonia Conference Center
As the cornerstone of the downtown revitalization project, Gastonia Conference Center complements the existing local architecture and includes extensive environmental and sustainability programs.   With 5,000 square feet of flexible space, the ballroom accommodates over 300 people for banquet seating, or over 400 people for auditorium-style seating.  The facility features state-of-the-art conference technology and traditional furnishings.  All space is designed to maximize comfort and efficiency. Conveniently located less than 30 minutes from uptown Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the conference center is rapidly earning the reputation as the preferred meeting and event venue for the Charlotte region.

For additional information, visit

About The Wilderman Group
The Wilderman Group is a woman-owned hospitality management company that provides focused services both customized and cutting edge with a concentration in the Carolinas and the Southeast. They specialize in civic and community developments and creating effective and productive environments for meetings and conferences. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, TWG is a full-service hospitality management firm with a team of industry experts in all areas of hospitality including operations, sales and marketing management, food and beverage, and environmental programs. They are steadfast in their commitment to environmental stewardship and are proud and active members of the US Green Building Council’s Charlotte Chapter, the South Carolina Chapter, the Georgia Chapter, and the International Association of Conference Centers. Visit The Wilderman Group at

James M. Mahon
914 548 5835


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Also See: LeGrand Center, the $19 Million Conference Center on the Campus of Cleveland Community College in Shelby, North Carolina Opens Managed by The Wilderman Group / July 2012

The Wilderman Group Names Emily McGeorge Conference Planning Manager for the Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, North Carolina / May 2012

The Wilderman Group Names Lauren Braxton as Sales Manager at Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, North Carolina / April 2012

Frederick W. Julius, III Named Vice President of Operations for The Wilderman Group / March 2012

The Wilderman Group Selected to Manage the LeGrand Center, the New $19 Million Conference Center in Shelby, North Carolina / February 2012

A Cornerstone in the Gastonia, North Carolina City Revitalization Project, the Gastonia Conference Center Opens; The 30,000 Square-foot, Multi-use Facility is Managed by The Wilderman Group / December 2011

The Wilderman Group Appoints Andrea M. Powers as Director of Sales for Richmond Hill City Center, a Conference Center Located in Richmond Hill, Georgia / June 2011

The Wilderman Group Appoints Karl Anthony Swainey (Tony) as Vice President and General Manager of the Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, North Carolina / March 2011

The Wilderman Group Chosen by the City Council of Gastonia, North Carolina to Manage the Gastonia Conference Center, a Cornerstone of the City's Revitalization Project / March 2011

Kristin D. Kurie Appointed as President of The Wilderman Group / February 2011

The Wilderman Group Names Kermit Griffin as Director and Executive Chef of Richmond Hill City Center, Richmond Hill, Georgia / October 2010

The Wilderman Group Appoints Jeannie Green General Manager at Richmond Hill City Center, a Conference Center Located in Richmond Hill, Georgia / February 2010

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