Press Release

NCRLA Recognizes Troy Stauffer and Diane Tighe as ‘Stars of the Industry’

DURHAM, N.C. Feb. 14, 2024 – The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and JB Duke Hotel, two distinctive AAA Four Diamond hotel properties located on Duke University's campus, today announced that Area Executive Chef Troy Stauffer and Area Director of Sales, Catering and Conference Services Diane Tighe were recognized as 2024 “Stars of the Industry” by the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA).

Stauffer and Tighe, who were honored for their outstanding service and commitment to excellence in hospitality, celebrated with fellow winners and colleagues at the NCRLA awards ceremony earlier this week.

Troy Stauffer – Restaurant Manager of the Year

Stauffer joined the Inn in 2007 as banquet chef and manager of banquet culinary operations. After many years at the Inn leveraging his culinary mastery to elevate its renowned dining offerings, he assumed the role of executive chef at JB Duke Hotel upon its opening in 2018. In 2020, he was promoted to the expanded role of area executive chef, in which he oversees menu innovation and culinary operations across the family of hotels at Duke University.

“Troy has developed and mentored a strong team, fostered an environment of mutual respect and continues to refine and expand the food and beverage operations at our hotels,” said Randy Kolls, co-managing partner and managing director of the family of hotels owned by Duke University. “Troy’s contributions have elevated the guest experience at our hotels and solidified our reputation as an unparalleled fine dining destination in the Triangle.”

Diane Tighe – Lodging Manager of the Year

Tighe began her career at the Inn in 1997 as a catering manager, where she sold and detailed events to an array of clients, including social, corporate, association, and most notably, Duke University. As she moved from a management role to a director position, Tighe masterfully leveraged her skillset and keen understanding of market trends to elevate broader hotel operations. When the opportunity arose in 2023, Tighe redefined her role and now oversees all sales efforts, rooms and catering.

“Diane is a natural born hotelier and personifies the definition of gracious, caring and genuine hospitality,” said Kolls. “While she is highly successful in meeting financial targets and establishing sales and service standards, Diane is best known for her commitment to championing coworkers and helping them reach their full potential. Her vision will ensure the Inn’s success for years to come because she has already trained the next generation of successful, driven directors.”

The NCRLA is the voice of North Carolina’s restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry. Twenty-two recipients across 11 categories were recognized during the NCRLA awards ceremony based on their exemplary service, leadership, innovation and dedication to the restaurant and lodging industries. The full list of award winners is available to view on the NCRLA website.

“We are so proud to recognize the hardworking people in the hospitality industry,” said NCRLA President and CEO Lynn Minges. “This amazing group of men and women keep innovating and changing to help keep their businesses and our industry up and running.” 

About JB Duke Hotel

JB Duke Hotel is a contemporary hotel and conference center located on the campus of Duke University. The property’s state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities make it an attractive venue for hosting corporate and academic events and meetings. Anchored by a stunning peninsula bar, the hotel’s Lobby Lounge offers light fare and upscale spirits for guests to relax by the fireplace. The AAA Four Diamond property is also home to MarketPlace Restaurant, featuring comfortable and contemporary kiosk-style dining, which offers barista coffee service in the mornings before transforming into a relaxing hub for meals and mingling in the afternoon and evening hours. JB Duke Hotel is located at 230 Science Drive in Durham, N.C. To book a stay, please call (844) 490-7100 or visit Follow the JB Duke Hotel on Facebook and Instagram.

To view current employment opportunities or submit a resume to the properties’ online talent community, visit    

About Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club 

Nestled on 300 acres filled with tall pines and hardwoods at the edge of Duke Forest, the AAA Four Diamond Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is known for its spacious lodging, world-class golf and award-winning dining on the campus of Duke University. The Fairview Dining Room has come to define Durham fine dining with its regional American specialties, impeccable service and elegant ambiance. The Bull Durham Bar offers guests a casual and intimate atmosphere with stunning views of the 18-hole championship Duke University Golf Club designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.  As one of the top Durham hotels for meetings and special events, the Inn's Executive Conference Center accommodates up to 600 attendees. The Inn is located at 3001 Cameron Boulevard in Durham, N.C. To book a stay, please call (800) 443-3853 or visit Follow the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club on Facebook and Instagram.  



Victoria Moore 

Largemouth Communications