MICHIGAN CITY | Many front line service employees, their businesses and community leaders were honored at the annual Recognition of Service Excellence (R.O.S.E.) Awards Luncheon that was held at Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa in Michigan City, on Thursday, May 9th. This luncheon honors those individuals and organizations that contributed to the tourism industry in both LaPorte and Porter Counties.
The R.O.S.E. Award Luncheon coincides with the celebration of National Tourism Week, May 6 through 10, sponsored nationally by the Travel Industry Association (TIA).
Mark Newman, Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development was our special guest and keynote speaker. Mark and his staff promote all the great things there are to do in Indiana, ensuring that Hoosiers take advantage of all the wonderful in-state travel opportunities and that people from outside Indiana spend their travel dollars here.
Newman said, “R.O.S.E. stands for Recognition of Service Excellence, and we are here today to honor those businesses, attractions, events and people that go above and beyond the call of duty to provide an exceptional experience for the people who live in and, of course, visit Porter and LaPorte Counties”.
Not only were R.O.S.E. winners from this past year recognized at the luncheon, but special awards were also presented to special individuals and organizations from both counties. LaPorte County special R.O.S.E. award recipients were: Patricia Segovia, “Employee of the Year” from Best Western Plus LaPorte Hotel & Conference Center; Staff, “Team Effort Award” from Microtel Inn & Suites; Laura Kobat and Kris Demoret, “Shining Star Award” owners of Arbor Hill Inn & Guests; Cary Kirkham, “Outstanding Elected Official Award”, LaPorte City Councilman; Laura Marie Ponozzo, “Lemonade Award” owner of Earth Angel Eco Art Studio and Brad Hindsley “Green Award” owner of Spire Farm to Fork Restaurant.
The “Best Fest Award” went to the Sunflower Festival in LaPorte and the “Volunteer of the Year” went to Jim Snyder who works with the LaPorte Little Theatre. Three awards were given in the category of “Putting LaPorte County on the Map” and they were awarded to Lyn Isbel leader of the Michigan City Soul Steppers Drill Team, Jessica Ward, director of the Michigan City Municipal Airport/Phillips Field and the Michigan City Port Authority.
The “LaPorte County Achievement Award” went to Mary Ellen Hatton from Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa. Three “Quality of Life/Quality of Place Award” were presented to the LaPorte County Public Library, LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo and Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer. The “Unsung Hero Award” was presented to Alex Laun. The “LaPorte County Professional of the Year Award” was given to Vice Chancellor Rick Soria of Ivy Tech Community College Pejic Campus.
The “Hoosier Hospitality Award” winner was also honored at the R.O.S.E. Luncheon. Only 18 winners were chosen from across the state and the LaPorte County winner was Claudia Geise owner of Tryon Farm Guest House. Each year LaPorte County CVB sends all of the ROSE nominations, to the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, for consideration for the “Hoosier Hospitality Award”. This award is given to someone who personifies Hoosier Hospitality, who consistently goes out of their way to make visitors feel good about their visit, and who successfully promotes tourism in the community. The winner is chosen by the state department of tourism and the award is presented by Lt Governor Sue Ellspermann.
The R.O.S.E Awards are given to honor "the best of the best" people, events, and businesses, in the service industry, and to encourage them to continue to contribute to the tourism industry.
You can nominate someone for the R.O.S.E Award at any time by following this link: