Another year of celebrating hospitality workers in Norfolk and another great (and loud) rally at Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center downtown.
The Booker T. Washington High School band provided the welcoming beats and the area mascots gave hugs and put smiles on our faces.
The Champions of Hospitality Rally is put on by VisitNorfolk as part of National Travel And Tourism Week.
We never forget our dear Uncle Pete Decker who was one of Norfolk’s biggest cheerleaders and the star of this show for years. His sons Paul, Peter and Phillip have taken over for the late great local legend who died last year.
Norfolk Airport Hilton won for large group most spirited. They’re employees put on a quite a skit with a boxing theme. The Downtown Norfolk Council won for small group. They consist of those always helpful ambassadors who greet visitors to the city and guide us all in the right direction. The competition was fierce and one thing is certain, there are a lot of hospitality workers in Norfolk who absolutely love what they do!
My co-workers Bruce Rader, Tom Schaad and Stephanie Harris joined me on the judging panel for most spirited – along with Old Dominion University’s football coach , Bobby Wilder.
Here’s the complete list of winners:
Admissions/Box Office – Megan Gullickson of the Virginia Stage Company & Virginia Arts Festival
Audio Visual – Everett White of Norfolk Special Events
Banquets – Lenora Southall of Norfolk Waterisde Marriott
Bartender – John Queen of Kincaid’s
Concierge– Ellie Porambo of Hilton Norfolk Airport
Front Desk – Amelita Avendano of Navy Gateway Inn & Suites and Loleta McGary of Navy Lodge
Host – Mikah Haydu of Shula’s
Housekeepers – Quenella Somerville of Courtyard by Marriott Downtown and Mary Matthews of Residence Inn Downtown
Kitchen – Mary Hearvey of Holiday Inn Airport and David Moore of Sheraton Norfolk Waterside
Maintenance – Rafael Rosado of the Ted Constant Convocation Center
Military Tourism Ambassador – Gregory Bell of USN
Parking Attendant – Ruth Jones of MacArthur Center
Public Service Ambassador – Marcia Oubre of Norfolk Botanical Garden
Receptionist – Sarah Gilbert of Ted Constant Convocation Center
Retail – Elizabeth Joseph of Nauticus
Server – Mark Montgomery of 219 An American Bistro
Valet – Marcus Watterson of Byrd & Baldwin
Volunteer – Don Pipes of Nauticus
Zoo Keepers – Aubry Hall of Virginia Zoo
Zoo Ambassador – Oscar the Red Panda