Southland employees recognized by state association
2016 Arkansas Hospitality Association “ Stars of the Industry Awards Gala” results
From Ethan Blakley Arkansas Hospitality Association
LITTLE ROCK — The 16th Annual AHA Stars of the Industry Awards Gala is a time to celebrate and recognize the successes and leaders in hospitality.
The following recipients were honored at a starstudded dinner and awards ceremony on February 22nd, 2016 at the Clinton Presidential Center. Over two hundred industry people mixed and mingled to live music by local band, Gentlemen Jazz. Guests were entertained by special guest co-emcee Rex Nelson, Director of Corporate Communications at Simmons Bank, a strategic partner of AHA. Montine McNulty, Executive Director says, “The leisure and hospitality sector hit a new record high in 2015 for number of jobs. The people honored at Stars of the Industry are part of the reason. They love hospitality and go above and beyond in their jobs to make the industry what it is.”
Michael Dandurand Scholarship Recipient: Nashay Nelson, Pulaski Technical College (awarded to a student pursuing a Degree in Hospitality Studies); Front of House Employee of the Year: David Tripp, Southland Park Gaming & Racing, West Memphis; Heart of House Employee of the Year: Vernis Marlow, Embassy Suites Hotel, Hot Springs; Manager of the Year: Malissa Jackson, Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center, Little Rock ; Silver Cup Award: Elizabeth Eggleston, AR South Tourism Association, El Dorado; Salut au Restaurateur: Peter Brave, Brave New Restaurant, Little Rock; Golden Key: Becki Lewis, Windham Riverfront, North Little Rock; Maurice E. Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award: Wayne Woods, Little Rock.
Two Arkansas Hospitality Association members with distinguished records of service to the Arkansas hospitality industry were inducted as honorees into the Arkansas Hospitality Hall of Fame: Steve “Wildman” Wilson, AR Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock; and Maryl Koeth, Van Buren A& P Commission, Van Buren.
Front of House Employee of the Year Honorees: Katina Jones, Holiday Inn-West, Little Rock; Anastasia Duff, Capital Hotel, Little Rock; Kathy Travis, Hilton Garden Inn West Little Rock, Little Rock; Lloyd Withrow, Little Rock Marriott, Little Rock.
Heart of House Employee of the Year Honorees: Valerie Fletcher, Southland Park Gaming & Racing, West Memphis; Bill Lively, Little Rock Marriott, Little Rock; Phyllis Coffron, Embassy Suites Hotel, Rogers.
Manager of the Year Honorees: Chuck Stager, La Quinta Inn & Suites Downtown Conference Center, Little Rock; Mark Pendgraft, Southland Park Gaming & Racing, West Memphis; Tony Baker, Arkansas 4-H Center, Little Rock Erica Davis, Little Rock Marriott, Little Rock.
The Arkansas Hospitality Association also sends a big “THANK YOU” to our sponsors: Simmons Bank, Ben E. Keith, Clinton Presidential Center, Glazer’s Distributors, Floral Express, Heartland Payment Systems, Jason Burt Photography, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.
About Arkansas Hospitality Association The Arkansas Hospitality Association (AHA) is the official voice of the restaurant and entertainment, hotel and lodging, and travel and tourism industries in the state of Arkansas. The association serves as an umbrella organization for the Arkansas Lodging Association, the Arkansas Restaurant Association and the Arkansas Travel Council. Members include restaurants, bars, hotels, lodges, resorts and other businesses related to travel, tourism and entertainment.