eric harryman

Keepin’ the catchers on their toes!

July 29th, 2010 at 7:35 pm by under Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

Eric Harryman and I are still catching flack from our first pitch attempt at the Norfolk Tides game on July 17.  Even Ken Young, the owner of the Tides, said he was worried for his catchers as our pitches kinda went towards the wrong guys!

Nicole & Eric at the Norfolk Tides game

We really enjoyed meeting our fans- young and old. What’s better than a baseball game?  Good food, good people and of course, hugs from Riptide if you’re lucky!  Folks came out from all over Hampton Roads.  Thanks to all who sent us pictures and video clips!

Almost time for Habitat to strike again!

July 9th, 2010 at 8:09 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities, Uncategorized

An empty lot behind them.

#1 — Agh … the signs of progress. Remember the snowstorm a few months back? It might seem hard to remember what that felt like given the heat outside right now. It’s 7:30pm on Friday night as I write this and still 85 degrees out there. Yikes! Anyway, these pictures were taken at at groundbreaking ceremony for Fox 43 ‘s newest  Habitat For Humanity house in Hampton. I had the honor of helping out with the ceremony, but THAT was only the beginning.

The work continues.

From an empty lot to this!

#2 — This is what that empty lot has become in the last few months. Pretty impressive huh? Mind you, this didn’t come easy. The new owners have put in hundreds of hours of their own sweat equity to make this happen.

#3 — On July 21st Nicole Livas and I get to do the honors; hand over the keys. This house will become home for Perlean Brooks, her daughter and her grandson. (see pic above)

I wanted to write this blog so the people can see and understand the ‘process’. This house isn’t ‘given’ to anyone. The Brooks family will pay a mortgage and have all the other responsibilities of any homeowner. This is their dream. Fox 43 is incredibly proud to be a sponsor of these homes and please look for another blog post from me after our July 21st dedication. That is the marquee event.

This is a picture of the last Habitat House that Wavy/Fox 43 dedicated in Toano last year.

The last Habitat House dedicated.

Habitat For Humanity

Follow the link above if you can donate anything for our next build project. Land, time, materials … anything.

Have a great weekend everyone. Be safe.


Give thanks to hospitality workers!

May 12th, 2010 at 7:06 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

This week is National Travel and Tourism Week and those who work in the industry in Norfolk took time to celebrate today.   The Convention and Visitors Bureau and Tourism Research Foundation sponsored the Champions of Hospitality Rally at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center.   I was honored to serve as a judge once again this year along with my colleagues Bruce Rader, Tom Schaad, Eric Harryman and  Stephanie Harris and ODU Football Coach, Bobby Wilder.

“Uncle Pete” Decker served as emcee and kept us all in stitches.

We got all kinds of bribes as soon as we sat at the judges table.  Most of them would add many inches and pounds to our bodies so we shared some of the baked goods with the audience.  Others were great mementos with the city of Norfolk.

We judged the Spirit Awards and it was tough.  So many Norfolk hotels, restaurants and attractions have enthusiastic employees, it was hard to pick just one.  But in the end, the Norfolk Waterside Marriott and The Virginia Arts Festival took top honors.   Several other individual awards were given out.  Check out the list here:

2010 Norfolk National Tourism Rally Winners


Patricia Brady – Seay with the VA Arts Festival (Group Sales Assistant)
Employed with organization: 3 years
Their organization and clerical skills keep group sales organized and allows our Group Sales Director to spend her time selling tickets and developing new clients. This person is always courteous and patient with group leaders and works especially well with our senior groups.

Feleece Williams with the Hilton Norfolk Airport (Sales Administrator)
Employed with organization: 3 years
This person exemplifies exceptional hospitality towards all of our guests and potential clients. Their bright smile and positive attitude makes everyone they come into contact with feel welcome and cared for.


Frank Yancey with the Crowne Plaza Hotel (Banquet Captain)
Employed with organization: 6 months
He is an outstanding Banquet Captain with his ability to evaluate the situation and take charge to solve whatever problem may arise. He is capable of making each planner feel his or her event is top priority.


Rob Asbury with Todd Jurich Bistro (Bartender)
Employed with organization: 4 years
This person makes everyone feel welcome. I believe most of the heavy bar business at this organization  is due to the bartender’s amazing personality, talent and dedications. They are extremely personable and balances conversation with patrons while providing excellent service.


George Avent with the Norfolk Waterside Marriott (Bellman)
Employed with organization: 8 years

This person is a priceless ambassador to Norfolk. They treat all guests at the property as if they were family. When a guest asks a question and this person does not know the answer to it, they take the time to seek out the information for them. This person also makes it a priority to keep updated on downtown happenings. This person was also nominated twice in 2009.


Robert Mills of the Hilton Norfolk Airport (Concierge)
Employed with organization: 2 years

This person was voted for employee of the month after only 3 months. World travelers write letters stating they have never been treated with such elegance and excellence.  This person is the main reason they come back. They know most of the guests that visit the Concierge lounge on a first name basis. The truest professional hospitality person you will ever meet.


Hazel Harvie of the Norfolk Botanical Garden (Facilities Supervisor)
Employed with organization: 2.5 years

This person is the glue that holds the custodial staff together. The job is challenging in the summer and spring months when visitation to the attraction peaks. This person always finds a way to motivate the staff.


Natalie Lassiter with HRT  (NET Driver)
Employed with organization: HRT Since 1988. Driver for 2 years.

This person has much needed people skills to deal with the public and is very dependable, truth worthy and friendly person. They always goes the extra mile to assist passengers on where to get off.

Front Desk:

Yolette Friend with Navy Gateway Inns & Suites (Front Desk Leader)
Employed with organization: 2 Years
This person really stood out from the rest of the weekend of the snow storm. They came prepared to stay at the facility to work the entire weekend being a single parent to one teenage daughter. During the weekend this person ensured that the guests that could not depart were extended and provided great assistance and a wealth of information.


Nichele Stone with 456 Fish (Hostess)
Employed with organization: 2 years
This person is very knowledgeable and assists our guests and staff in many ways. She is a quick study and has improved the way we do things at the restaurant.


Miriam Guieb with the Residence Inn Marriott Airport (Housekeeping Supervisor)
Employed with organization: 6 years
This person walks in the door each morning with a smile on their face. I am proud of their accomplishments and growth as a supervisor.


Ronnie Church with the Residence Inn Downtown
Employed with organization: 1 year
This person was the go to man during the opening of the property. They worked around the clock and always kept their co-workers laughing.


Shirleen Minter with D’egg (Cook)
Employed with organization: 3 years
This person comes to work everyday with a smile on their face. Their energy is contagious. She is the mom and grandma every kitchen needs.


Officer Rick James with the City of Norfolk Police Department
Employed with organization: 25 years
His customer service is unmatched. He is everything a police officer should be.

Parking Attendant:

Shandra Miller with Central Parking Division (Cashier)
Employed with organization: 1 year
We have received several phone calls of compliment on this persons unique ability to make customers smile. “I treat every customer like it is an honor to serve them”.

Public Service Ambassador:

John Kintsche with the Downtown Norfolk Council (PSA)
Employed with organization: 1 Year
This person goes out of their way to assist visitors, residents and downtown workers and always displays a smile and a positive note for everyone.


Sabrina Lucky with Nauticus (Receptionist)
Employed with Organization:
5 years  – nominated in 2009
This person always answers the phone with a smile and treats the guests with utmost respect. This person is ready and willing to help any and all visitors to Nauticus with a passion that shows.


Tamikka Doman with Rowena’s (Warehouse Manager)
Employed with Organization:
10 years
This person is the 3rd generation of their family to work at their organization. This person always shows the guests respect and superior customer service.

Room Service & **Hospitality Associate of the Year

Sam Caban with the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel (Room Service Server)
Employed with Organization:
27 years 
This person is caring and hard working in their position. This person always has a good attitude and is willing to pitch in to assist when needed. They have a strong work ethic and produces steady results.


Spencer Briggs with the Big Easy Bar & Grill (Valet)
Employed with Organization: 1 year

This person is a true team player. They are constantly searching for ways to improve customer service.


Bob Webb with the Hampton Roads Naval Museum
Employed with Organization: May 2005

This former Walt Disney employee has donated more than 5,550 years with an average of 1,100 years. One of most charming docents, this person entertains and educates our guests with thrilling stories about the Navy’s history here in Hampton Roads. This year we are proud to announce that this person is receiving the President of the US Volunteer Lifetime Service Award.


Veola Nesbith with the Courtyard by Marriott
Employed with Organization: 5 Years
This person has provided great service at breakfast for over 5 years. This person is recognized on a regular basis on our guest comment cards and guest services.

Other Winners

  • Norfolk Botanical Garden Ambassadors of the Year: Eagles
  • Virginia Zoo Ambassador of the Year: Kangaroo Mob
  • Ambassador of the Year: F.R.E.D.

Chances are, you’ve had a wonderful experience with them and that’s why they are named the best!

With all of the cheering in room, I can’t forget to mention the presence of  many of my favorite mascots- including Riptide from the Norfolk Tides, Big Blue from Old Dominion University, the Spartan from Norfolk State University, Hat Trick from the Norfolk Admirals, Rigby the Rhino from the Virginia Zoo and a new one, CoolJack, a snowman who is Norfolk’s “Holidays in the City” mascot.  They’re all so cute and cuddly!!

And last but not least, the Booker T. Washington marching band and cheerleaders rocked the house. They sure have some good moves!

When you visit a restaurant, hotel or tourist attraction, make sure you say thanks to the workers who put in the extra effort to make your experience a good one!

Can’t wait to help out with the event again next year.  This always gets me energized and sends me to work with a great attitude and a smile on my face!

UPDATE: Event to prevent child abuse raised thousands

March 21st, 2010 at 11:38 am by under Personalities, Uncategorized

Thanks to all of you who came out and supported  me, Eric Harryman, Tom Schaad and others at 456 Fish on Granby Street in downtown Norfolk on Thursday, March 25, 2010.

People were very generous making donations and buying raffle tickets to benefit  the 28th annual Child Abuse Prevention Celebrity Night.   Kay Young helped out at Big Easy on Tazewell Street in downtown Norfolk.

Hampton Roads has a lot of cases of child abuse and this organization works hard to educate the public and protect our children.
This event was sponsored by: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads.

Another Shred-It Success

May 19th, 2009 at 4:05 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities, Uncategorized

A big thank you to all of you who participated in our 10 on Your Side “Shred-It event” on Saturday, May 16.


Hundreds of people came out, many arrived early, to have their personal documents shredded in the big mobile shredding trucks. In exchange for the service that helps protect your identity, participants brought non-perishable goods for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.


We collected more than 3500 pounds of food for needy families.
Volunteers from Jackson-Hewitt tax services and the Foodbank helped out.

I was at the College Park Shopping Center in Virginia Beach, while Eric Harryman was at the Willow Oaks Shopping Center in Hampton.
The weather was threatening with dark clouds looming most of the time and a few downpours, but it didn’t keep people away.


It was nice to meet new people and reunite with old friends.
We hope to see you at our next Shred-it event in July. Keep checking out for exact locations, date and time.