Latest Awards/Recognition News & Views...
Meet Minneapolis announces fourth quarter 2014 Hospitality Hero award
Melissa Rolf, sales coordinator at The Commons Hotel, has been awarded the fourth quarter Hospitality Hero award from Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association. The award honors an individual or company who has contributed significantly to the public image of Minneapolis through outstanding hospitality and service.
Rolf was nominated by her coworker, Jamie Goodchild, senior group sales manager at The Commons Hotel, for Rolf’s ability to showcase Minneapolis in a positive light, going the extra mile in providing service to visitors and for Rolf’s wealth of knowledge about Minneapolis. Since November 2006, Rolf has handled more than 154 wedding blocks per year, serving as both the catering manager and the wedding specialist in booking room blocks of 10 or more. Rolf also handles office duties and assists the general manager with special projects when needed.
Rolf consistently works to enhance the visitor’s experience and desire to return to Minneapolis in any way she can. As the main contact for the out-of-town wedding groups she serves, Rolf demonstrates pride and commitment to Minneapolis’ hospitality industry
“Melissa does an outstanding job of providing support to our internal staff and our social customers. She has a passion for hospitality and is always professional and friendly with our customers,” Goodchild said. “Melissa is the voice of The Commons Hotel sales and catering department, and when you call the hotel you will enjoy your experience.”
ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.
Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.
Find out more:
Online: www.minneapolis.org and http://go.minneapolis.org, On Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
Photo: Meet Minneapolis President & CEO Melvin Tennant; Fourth Quarter Hospitality Hero Award Winner and The Commons Hotel Sales Coordinator Melissa Rolf; The Commons Hotel General Manager Duane Rohrbaugh; and The Commons Hotel Senior Sales Manager Jamie Goodchild. Photo by John McCally.
Employee Wins CVB Award
The Williston Convention and Visitors Bureau started up an employee of the month program in January, and the first employee of the month has been chosen.
"I came up here at the beginning of the year," says the general manager of the Holiday Inn Express, Rich Rowell. "We got a whole bunch of different GMs that are attending the meetings and we all saw the benefit that we can get from that by recognizing these top people that we have working for us."
Rowell nominated Jennifer Edlund, the desk clerk at the Holiday Inn, to be the first employee of the month because of how much effort she puts into her job.
"She has all the guest service skills that you would expect and hope for in a front line employee." Rowell says. "She goes over and above. She's always got an open and friendly attitude and is genuinely pleased to see our guests."
Rowell says she really tries get to know the guests and enhance their experience when they stay at the hotel.
"It was just a great feeling to win almost coming off maternity leave and coming back and realizing that I won this was great," says Edlund. "To feel that, and to be the one that was chosen first after all this is really nice."
Edlund has been in Williston for almost three years. She says she has grown a lot since she started working at the hotel.
"I'll go up and above and help them, whether it's connecting to the Internet because they can't figure it out," says Edlund. "Or going and putting extra pillows, just anything extra. I will always help them. I'll make reservations at other hotels that aren't even our property to make it easier on them. I want them to feel welcome here."
Edlund says that the staff at the hotel has developed a really close relationship, which makes it feel like a career rather than a job.
If anybody wants to nominate someone or just has questions about this program, call the Williston CVB at 701-774-9041.
Visit Winona Wins State Tourism Marketing Award
The staff of Visit Winona was honored at the 2014 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference with a Travel Marketing Award of Excellence, an award given for the most creative and successful marketing programs statewide in the tourism industry. The recognition was one of just two given at the conference’s annual awards banquet held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center February 5, 2014.
Judges selected Visit Winona for the distinction based on the results of a Facebook campaign that created a 1000 percent year-on-year increase in average daily engaged users for the local tourism office. Moreover, Visit Winona did so without purchasing Facebook ads or sponsored posts, using instead a strategy to engage with followers that judges called “smart”.
Visit Winona competed for the award in a category with the largest tourism organizations in Minnesota, including Meet Minneapolis, which received an Award of Merit at the convention. The Ely Chamber of Commerce won the Award of Excellence for smaller convention and visitor associations.
Visit Winona is a tourism organization that promotes the community and the region as a year round travel destination to individuals and groups. Visit www.visitwinona.com for more information.
Photo: (L to R) Visit Winona staffers Kate Carlson (partnership director), Cynthya Porter (digital communications coordinator), Pat Mutter (executive director), Mary Farrell (visitor services coordinator) received an Award of Excellence for marketing at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Feb. 5.
Christina Anderson-Heller Nominated for State's Second Annual 'Lincoln Award'
Marketing Director for Lynfred Winery One of Fifteen Finalists for Award; Winners to be Announced at the Excellence in Tourism Dinner
Inspired by the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) is showcasing the state’s brightest stars in the tourism industry with the second annual ‘Lincoln Awards.’ Award recipients are those “behind the scenes stars” that go above and beyond for the Illinois tourism industry. The awards will be presented during a special program at the upcoming Excellence in Tourism Awards on February 3, part of the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism.
Chicago Northwest’s own Christina Anderson-Heller, Marketing Director of Lynfred Winery, is honored as one of fifteen award finalists this year. Dave Parulo, President of Meet Chicago Northwest, the Chicago Northwest region’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau said “We are honored to have Christina representing our vibrant Chicago Northwest region. Her passion and support for tourism could not be more valuable to our promoting our region.”
Illinois State Travel Director, Jen Hoelzle, is pleased to honor these individuals who dedicate their careers to making Illinois a memorable destination for travelers. “The people of Illinois are what make visiting the Land of Lincoln so great,” said Hoelzle. “I want to congratulate and thank each of this year’s finalists for their outstanding dedication to Illinois tourism.”
The awards will help kick off the 2014 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism. The conference runs February 3-5, in Chicago at the Palmer House. For more information and registration, please visit ilgovconference.com.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.
Global Spectrum’s Shura Garnett, CFE Receives Prestigious Charles McElravy Award from the International Association of Venue Managers
The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) is pleased to announce Shura Garnett, CFE, Global Spectrum Regional Vice President and General Manager of the St. Charles Convention Center, in St. Charles, Mo., as the recipient of the prestigious Charles A. McElravy Award for 2014. The McElravy Award, named in honor of one of IAVM’s founding organizers, Charles A. McElravy, was initiated in 1963 and is granted for extraordinary contributions to the Association and the professional venue management industry it serves.
With over 25 years of venue management experience in the operation of convention centers, Garnett, CFE, is highly regarded by her peers in the venue profession. She is known for being focused and driven, adept at producing positive bottom line impacts, good at cultivating and fostering clients and business relationships, and building solid teams through her exemplary leadership.
“Shura is truly deserving of this recognition. She has a passion and energy that inspires others, and her innovation and confident leadership set our Association on course toward success that is still evident today,” said John Bolton, CFE, and current Chair of the IAVM Board of Directors.
"We are all particularly proud of Shura and the fantastic work she does for our clients and our customers," said Global Spectrum Chief Operating Officer John Page. "This award is a true testament to Shura's outstanding work ethic which is contagious. She continuously provides our facilities with her terrific enthusiasm and work knowledge."
Garnett’s leadership and management skills quickly became apparent when she entered the industry as an Event Manager in 1987. She soon became Director in 1988. Among her many industry accomplishments, Garnett opened the 154,000 sq. ft. St. Charles Convention Center in April 2005 after overseeing all aspects of the 18-month construction. In 2010, she was promoted to Regional Vice President by Global Spectrum and remains General Manager of the St. Charles Convention Center.
In addition to the McElravy Award, Garnett has been honored in 2007 and 2008 when she was nominated for the GMA’s Dove Award given in recognition of outstanding female role models. In 2008 she received the Zonta Yellow Rose Award for her commitment to serving the community and advancing the status of women; and was named that same year as one of Venues Today’s Women of Influence. Within her work, Garnett and her staff, through the support of Global Spectrum, host 2-5 charitable events and activities each year including supporting Youth in Need, Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands for the Holidays, and Adopt a Soldier programs.
As an IAVM Member, Garnett has been active since 1988, earning her CFE in 2000. She served as Board Chair of IAVM from 2009-2010 and has also served on numerous volunteer committees for the Association. During Garnett’s tenure as Chair of the Association’s Board, she was instrumental in purchasing and implementing, VenueNet, still considered one of IAVM’s core member communication platforms. She also led efforts to change the Association’s name in 2009-2010, which was at that time called the International Association of Assembly Managers. She also worked to rebrand the annual conference and trade show, to what it’s is currently known as VenueConnect.
IAVM President and CEO, Vicki Hawarden, CMP, remarked, “Shura’s dedication to her profession and to our organization is inspirational. She’s someone I truly admire, and her many contributions to IAVM, particularly during her time as Chair, are part of why IAVM is where it is today.”
The award will be presented during IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, VenueConnect, July 26-29, 2014, in Portland, Oregon.
The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) has over 4,200 members. Founded in 1924 as the Auditorium Managers Association, IAVM is the world's largest professional association dedicated to the management of public assembly venues. Members include venue managers from arenas, convention centers/exhibit halls, performing arts centers, stadiums and university complexes. IAVM is the acknowledged organization providing leadership, advanced education, supportive advocacy, and networking opportunities between venue professionals around the world. IAVM is the preeminent source for all public assembly related research, information, services, and life-safety issues worldwide. Visit www.iavm.org for more information about IAVM.
Global Spectrum® manages more than 115 public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 23-million people attended more than 15,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.