Spirit and Love For Norfolk… and Uncle Pete

May 10th, 2012 at 11:33 pm by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized

Another year, another spirit filled day in Norfolk!

Thousands of  hospitality workers were honored at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center on the downtown Norfolk waterfront on May 8, 2012.


Its all part of National Travel and Tourism Week.


Stephanie Harris, Bruce Rader, Tom Schaad and I, along with O-D-U Football coach Bobby Wilder, judged the most spirited organizations.


Visit Norfolk and the Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation organized the event to honor the best hospitality associates in the mermaid city.

Once again, the band and cheerleaders from
Booker T. Washington High School entertained us.

Erin Filarecki from Visit Norfolk told us: “We have over 7,000 employees in the travel and tourism industry.This is there special day to honor them…everything that they do behind the scenes that visitors don’t necessarily see.”

But something was clearly missing this year, lawyer and philanthropist, Peter Decker, Jr.

“Uncle Pete” as he was affectionately known by many passed away in February.He had served as emcee of this event for several years.  This year’s event served as a special tribute to him. A special video highlighted his contributions to the rally over the years.

His three sons- Pete, Paul, and Phil took over those duties.
The Downtown Norfolk Council won for most spirited small group.


The Norfolk Airport Hilton won for large group.  They wrote and performed special songs in memory of Uncle Pete.  That caused many of us to tear up.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Admissions: Gay Jones, Norfolk Scope

Assistant: Mary Ellen Fournier Virginia Arts Festival

Audio Visual: Mike Villare with Ted Constant Convocation Center

Banquets: Sheneda Latham-Hollis with Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Norfolk

Bartender & Overall Winner: Joe Allen with Norfolk Airport Hilton

Corporate Liaison: Rita Super with Norfolk Southern Corp.

Docent: Hunt Lewis with the Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Driver: Mark Lett with Orange Peel Transportation

Front Desk: Cheryl Mathis with Residence Inn by Marriott – Norfolk Airport

Hostess: Tierra Jones with Shula’s 347 Norfolk Waterside Marriott

Housekeeper Aimee Vidal with Navy Gateway Inns & Suites

Maintenance (co-winners): Orlando Baskfield with Navy Lodge Norfolk
Red Harris with Quality Inn Norfolk Naval Station

Mascot: Rip Tide (Bill Caruso) Norfolk Tides Baseball Club

Parking Attendant: Bee Sutton with MacArthur Center

Public Service Ambassador: Dave Walker with Downtown Norfolk

Reservations: Sabrina Thomas Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel

Retail: Patricia Dunn Nauticus

Server: Chris John with Byrd & Baldwin Bros Steakhouse

Tour Operator: Amanda Wells with Norfolk Botanical Garden

Valet: Yar Khan with Norfolk Plaza Hotel

Volunteer: Carolyn Papafil with The Norfolk Grille

Zoo Ambassador: Chai and Thai with Virginia Zoological Park

For more pictures, check out The Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation’s Facebook page.

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