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  • Bouchon 62 North Lexington Avenue Asheville, NC, 28801 United States (map)

Please join us for the Silver Medal Award Ceremony on Thursday, June 21, 2018.


This year we are honoring Chris Cavanaugh, President and Founder of Magellan Strategy Group and a local leader in marketing research advancement.

He’s been called “a Swiss Army knife of strategy and marketing skills” because of the diverse set of capabilities and experiences he offers. He’s also been called far worse, but that’s a different story.

Cavanaugh has served as a strategic planning and marketing consultant for over a decade, and has worked with a wide range of clients and projects. He is most proud of his versatility, professionalism, and ability to listen to clients and their stakeholders. He is widely recognized for his ability to see through the daily minutiae which clouds the vision of even the best manager and to identify strategic opportunities.

Prior to founding Magellan Strategy Group, Cavanaugh served as vice president of marketing for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC, the owner of Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. While at Biltmore, Cavanaugh helped guide the company’s marketing planning, strategy, and execution for almost ten years as part of an amazing team of talented people. During his time, Biltmore doubled its annual revenue and became the most visited historic house attraction in the U.S. Cavanaugh also directed marketing for the Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star hotel on the property, and the Biltmore Estate Winery, the most visited winery in the nation.

The Governor of North Carolina appointed Cavanaugh to the state’s travel and tourism board in 2003, and he was reappointed in 2010. He is past chairman of that board, and also past chairman of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (overseeing the work of the Asheville CVB) and Blue Ridge Mountain Host, a regional marketing association. Cavanaugh was selected as a recipient of the 2014 Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Award for his work with that organization and the industry. In 2015, the Travel Industry Association of North Carolina presented him with the Tourism Excellence Award for an Individual for outstanding contributions to the development of the travel industry in the state.

Cavanaugh holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Emory University. He had a career in consumer packaged goods marketing prior to joining The Biltmore Company, working in such diverse categories as apparel and food products.

He is currently a board member of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

Earlier Event: May 17
Later Event: July 12