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The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association (WH&LA) honored the stars of the industry on Monday, November 6th at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference and Trade Show at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino

Local hospitality supplier Jennifer Church of Milmark Hotel/Motel Investments was honored with the “Associate of the Year Award” for 2017. The award recognizes one professional each year who services the Wisconsin lodging industry in an exemplary manner. Church was presented with the award by 2016 “Associate of the Year” Jim Laurino from Charter Spectrum.

Hotelier Becky Rogers of IDM Hospitality was honored with the “Corporate Champion of the Year” award for 2017. This award recognizes one individual in key management of a company owning/operating multiple lodging properties in Wisconsin. Rogers was presented with the award by the 2016 “Corporate Champion of the Year” Amy Simchak, North Central Group.

Madison hotelier Skip Harless, General Manager of the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, was awarded the annual “Innkeeper of the Year” award for 2017. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in the Wisconsin lodging industry each year. For the past 3 years, Harless has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of the operation of the 240-room full-service Hilton hotel. Harless was presented with the award by 2016 “Innkeeper of the Year” Charlie Eggen, Madison/Verona.

Additionally, ten non-managerial employees were honored with the “Spirit of Hospitality” award which recognizes employees that exceed guest’s expectations, are wonderful examples to the rest of their team, and help to make the hospitality experience in Wisconsin legendary. Three award winners were not in attendance and will be honored at their property. 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Award Winners:

  • Josh Buttram, Bistro Chef at the Courtyard Madison East, Madison
  • Maria Cerna Ortiz, Housekeeper at the Hampton Inn Appleton
  • Abigail Elder, Bartender at the Amber Grill at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center in Stevens Point
  • Charles Feit, Guest Services Representative at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Madison West/Middleton
  • Jesse Frost, Steward at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center Stevens Point
  • Madelyn Lutz, Guest Services Manager at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Verona
  • Jacob McDonald, Maintenance Engineer at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center Stevens Point
  • Ryan McRae, Assistant General Manager – Operation at the Ambassador Hotel & Ambassador Inn Milwaukee
  • Rick Rehfeldt, Concierge at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
  • Scott Stoltz, Resort Night Manager at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan
  • Lisa Wendtland, Guest Services Representative at the Hampton Inn & Suites Madison West
  • Nora Xouca, Room Inspector at the Residence Inn Madison West/Middleton
  • Jared Dove, Assistant Maintenance Manager, Hampton Inn Brookfield (Hero of Hospitality)

 

 

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Who do you think are the best in Wisconsin’s lodging industry? Visit http://www.tfaforms.com/249235 to submit your nominations! Deadline for nominations is August 11, 2017. Questions? Contact Monica in the WH&LA office by email at  monica@wisconsinlodging.org or call 262/782-2851.  

Innkeeper of the Year
WH&LA recognizes the complete commitment to lodging excellence with this award, open to all WH&LA member property general managers or owner/operators, regardless of property size. One individual, one couple or one set of family members from the same property will be selected from all completed entries to receive WH&LA’s highest honor. Judging criteria include ongoing involvement in WH&LA and the lodging industry, commitment to both the profession & the community, personal and/or property achievements, general leadership abilities, and human resource skills.

Corporate Champion of the Year
This award is for key management of companies owning/operating multiple lodging properties in Wisconsin, with all of their Wisconsin properties in WH&LA membership. One individual will be selected from all completed entries by the Awards Committee to receive this prestigious honor. Judging criteria includes contributions to the company’s success in the lodging industry, personal or company recognition received, ongoing WH&LA involvement, and other industry or community involvement.

Associate of the Year
WH&LA honors a high degree of industry dedication & knowledge with this award, open to all current WH&LA associate members. One individual will be selected from all completed entries to receive WH&LA’s highest associate member honor. Judging criteria include a proven track record of exceptional commitment & service to the industry, ongoing participation in WH&LA, personal and/or company achievements and general leadership abilities.

Spirit of Hospitality Award
Is there someone very special working at your property who demonstrates the spirit of hospitality to your guests and to your staff? Only 12 WH&LA “Spirit of Hospitality” Awards will be given in 2017, making this achievement and recognition even more special to our winners! WH&LA’s Awards Committee will review all nominations remitted as required, review the description submitted on the Nomination Form on why they deserve this award, and will then  select the most deserving nominees to receive this year’s Award. WH&LA will then contact the person making the nomination to let them know if their nominee won, so that they may plan accordingly. Winners are not announced publicly until the Recognition Luncheon on November 6 at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference. Limit one entry per property.

Hero of Hospitality Award
The NEW hero of hospitality award was introduced to recognize employees who save a life or prevent serious injuries. The nominations committee established this award in 2017 to commend heroic acts performed by hospitality employees at Wisconsin Lodging properties. Any employee from a WH&LA property can submit a nomination on behalf of a colleague who performs a life-saving act, whether it’s clearing the airway of a choking victim or reporting a life-threatening security issue to authorities. Limit one entry per property.

NOMINATION RULES: All nominees must be employed by a current WH&LA member property. An official nomination form must be submitted for each nominee. All submitted materials become the property of WH&LA and will not be returned. In fairness to all candidates, no deadline extensions will be permitted.

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The AHLA Stars of the Industry awards program was created more than 45 years ago to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry. While the categories have evolved over the years, the concept is still the same — to honor lodging employees and properties that best symbolize the quality service of the industry. They want to hear your story!

The AHLA  is now accepting nominations for their STARS of the member companies, properties, and employees are eligible to submit an entry. Nonmembers will not be considered. Not sure if your property is an AH&LA member? Just reach out to AHLA Member Services at membership@ahla.com or (202) 289-3100.

Specific award categories are given based on property size. Size distinctions are small property(250 rooms or less) or large property (250 rooms or more). Important points to know about nominations:

  • Nominees can be either self or peer-nominated.
  • Support documentation may not exceed 10 pages. Videos may not exceed 3 minutes.
  • Incomplete entries will not be considered.

This year’s Stars of the Industry awards highlight the best employees from five coveted categories.

  • North Star Award: Lodging Employee of the Year 
  • General Manager of the Year 
    • Small property (250 rooms or less)
    • Large property (250 rooms or more)
  • Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year 
  • Paving the Way Award: Women In Lodging 
  • Innovation of the Year
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The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association is pleased to announce we are accepting applications for our 2017 Scholarships. This year we have two scholarships available! After over 100 years representing Wisconsin’s third largest industry, we are excited to recognize qualified students with the following  opportunities for their education:

  • The WH&LA Merit Scholarship offers up to $2000 to be applied toward education. Online application available click here.
  • The GMH&LA Cal Worrell Scholarship offers a $1000 to be applied toward education. Online application available click here.

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:

  • Reside in Wisconsin
  • Enrolled in an accredited member college/university in Wisconsin
  • Declared major in a hospitality program with lodging components
  • Work experience in the hospitality industry

Applications must be submitted by April 12 for recognition.

Distribution of funds available for September 2017. Recipients must be present at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference Luncheon at The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, WI on November 6, 2017.

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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member property on its recent awards!

Hilton Milwaukee City Center earned four distinctions in Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ 2013 Brand Awards of Excellence in the Americas, including Food & Beverage Award of Excellence, Food & Beverage Most Improved Award, Housekeeping Most Improved Award, and “Make It Right” Most Improved Award.

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While the AH&LA Stars of the Industry employee nominations are only open to the WH&LA award winners that were honored at our Wisconsin Lodging Conference, there are many Lodging Property Achievement Awards that you may submit nominations direct to AH&LA for.  Visit http://www.ahla.com/Stars/ to review information regarding the various award categories and to submit your information. The deadline to submit your nomination is February 15, 2013.

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Congratulations to the following WH&LA members on recent awards & recognition:

Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells was voted Top 10 in two SpaFinder.com categories, “Best Boutique Hotel” and “Best for Environmental Practices.”

Aspira Spa at The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, was named to SpaFinder.com’s “Top 10 for Water Sports,” ranked 5th on Spas of America‘s list of “Top 100 Spas for 2011″ and received Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 “Readers’ Choice Award” for a top Mainland U.S. Large Resort.

The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee, was named to Condé Nast Traveler’s “2012 Gold List,” which is based on readers’ picks of the best hotels in the world.

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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member properties for their recent awards and recognition!

U.S. News Travel section has announced their top 10 “Best Hotels in Wisconsin,” based on an analysis of awards, expert recommendations and user ratings. Each of the 10 properties are WH&LA members, and they include: The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee; Canoe Bay, Chetek; The American Club, Kohler; The Delafield Hotel, Delafield; The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee; Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva; InterContinental Milwaukee; Ambassador Hotel, Milwaukee; BEST WESTERN PREMIER Bridgewood Resort Hotel, Neenah; and Heidel House Resort & Spa, Green Lake.

The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee was also named as one of the top 25 luxury hotels in the US by TripAdvisor in the company’s 10th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards.

 

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The International Society of Hotel Association Executives (ISHAE) has recognized WH&LA with two ISHAE Awards of Excellence. The awards were presented and sponsored by USA TODAY and were given out in December at the 25th annual ISHAE Winter Conference in La Jolla, California.

WH&LA was recognized in the the Government Affairs category for the lodging industry’s effort in getting support for an increase in state tourism funding. Recognition in the Public Relations category was for the Gas Card Getaways program WH&LA ran during the summer months, allowing member properties to advertise any special gas card promotions to attract travelers. Both awards were in the category of state associations with annual budgets of more than $500,000.

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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member properties for their recent awards & recognitions!

Settle Inn & Suites, Appleton, was recently named 2010 Inn of the Year by Boomerang Hotels. The award is presented to the one property which has excelled in all operational areas to present a high quality product that results in maximum guest satisfaction. The property also received awards for Excellence in Quality Assurance and Outstanding Breakfast Presentation.

Americas Best Value Inn-Campus View, Eau Claire, received a Best of the Best award for Overall Excellence (over 60 rooms) from Vantage Hospitality, which honors the top Americas Best Value Inn hotels in 11 different categories.

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