MATTESON | The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, the regional destination marketing organization for Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs, recognized its members, municipalities and organizations for their outstanding service in the hospitality and tourism industries during the past fiscal year.
The awards were presented at the CVB’s annual meeting and luncheon Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Chicago Matteson Conference Center. Jen Hoelzle, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism, spoke about how continued engagement of potential visitors through social media will bring more visitors not only to the Chicago Southland, but to Illinois on the whole
The annual “Stars of the Industry” awards honor the work of exceptional regional hotel employees and were presented to winners by Chicago Southland CVB President/CEO Jim Garrett, Chicago Southland CVB Chairman Roy Patel and Hoelzle. This year’s 2013 Chicago Southland Stars of the Industry are:
• Administrative Employee of the Year: Sue Carroll, accounts receivable clerk at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn & Conference Center in Oak Lawn
• Food & Beverage Employee of the Year: James Borum, dishroom attendant/banquet scraper at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip
• Guest Services Employee of the Year: Rodney Brown, guest service representative at the Sleep Inn – Lansing
• Housekeeping Employee of the Year: Anabel Gonzalez, executive housekeeper at the Clarion Inn – South Holland
• Maintenance Employee of the Year: Juan Ortega, maintenance at the Best Western Plus Chicago Southland, Oak Forest, Ill., and Wingate by Wyndham – Tinley Park, Ill.
• Manager of the Year: Sandra Miller, sales manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip
The Chicago Southland CVB also presented five awards highlighting the contributions of its members and partners to the tourism and hospitality industries in the Chicago Southland. The 2013 winners are:
• Award of Merit: Johanns Williams, of Matteson, for his work to bring together 19 hotels from 11 municipalities to help collect more than 5,600 pounds food as part of United Way’s April Food Day Drive.
• Linda Morgan Award for Volunteerism: JoEllyn Kelly, J.J. Kelley’s in Lansing, for her tireless volunteer efforts with the convention and visitors bureau and the Lansing Autumn Festival.
• Patricia Chase Magon Municipal Leadership Award: Village of Frankfort for its support of tourism that has an impact on the village through events such as the Frankfort Fall Fest and officials continued support of CVB programs and tours such as familiarization tours for group tour planners and travel writers.
• Aldo DeAngelis Leadership Award: Midlothian Park District for its persistent dedication and meticulous planning to renovate Memorial Park fields into a modern five-pack of diamonds that can host a variety of softball tournaments in the future.
• Member of the Year: The Pickwick Society Tea Room Gifts & Antiques in Frankfort, for its continued support of CVB programs and for being an outstanding destination that attracts visitors from all over the country to the highest rated tea room in the state of Illinois.
“Our winners today understand the value of tourism as an economic driver in the Chicago Southland and they are continuing to help make the region an important visitor destination,” said Patel, the Chicago Southland CVB chairperson. “These awards highlight the best service in our region and are presented to the individuals and organizations that make a difference in the hospitality and tourism industries.”