Monday, June 17, 2024

Visit Shreveport-Bossier Announces Winners of Excellence in Hospitality Awards

by BPT Staff
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Outstanding individuals in the local tourism industry were recognized tonight at the Excellence in Hospitality Awards, an event organized by Visit Shreveport-Bossier. The event was hosted at Horseshoe Bossier Casino and Hotel at 6:00 p.m.

“The hospitality industry is the heartbeat of tourism. When people come to Shreveport-Bossier, they’re going to remember the valet who flashed them the first big smile. The bartender, who was personable and went the extra mile, made their dinner experience unforgettable. All the front desk personnel, housekeeping professionals, local attractions, business owners, and event planners are the reason visitors will return to Shreveport-Bossier,” said Stacy Brown, president & CEO of Visit Shreveport-Bossier. “People come to Northwest Louisiana for the southern hospitality, and they leave feeling like part of a family thanks to all the individuals who were here tonight.”

Louisiana Lieutenant Governor, Billy Nungesser, sent a message to those in the audience as he was unable to attend:

“I’m told all over the world, when people come to Louisiana, they meet a friend for life, and they leave with that warm and fuzzy feeling and it’s you the people in this industry that make those visitors feel welcome that they keep coming time and time again,” said Nungesser. “Those record numbers in tourism, it’s because of you. It’s because of the way you treat people. So, congratulations to the winners, but thank all of you for always being so passionate about your job.”

The winners of the 2024 Excellence in Hospitality Awards are as follows:

OUTSTANDING ATTRACTION

Shreveport Aquarium

OUTSTANDING CATERING PROFESSIONAL

Ashley Norton-Hebert with Superior’s Steakhouse

OUTSTANDING BANQUET PROFESSIONAL

Trina Wright with Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino

OUTSTANDING BARTENDER – RESTAURANT

Brayden Hermes with BeauxJax Crafthouse

OUTSTANDING BARTENDER – HOTEL/CASINO

Michael Bamberg with Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites Bossier

OUTSTANDING CASINO FLOOR PROFESSIONAL

Earnestine Simmons with Horseshoe Casino

OUTSTANDING CULINARY PROFESSIONAL/CHEF

Chef Hardette Harris with Us Up North, Celebrating North Louisiana Cuisine

OUTSTANDING EVENT

Day of the Dead Festival

OUTSTANDING EVENT VENUE

Hurricane Alley LIVE

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVER – RESTAURANT

Carlton Barrett with Chianti Restaurant

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVER – HOTEL/CASINO

Sharon Taylor with Louisiana Downs Racetrack & Casino

OUTSTANDING FRONT DESK PROFESSIONAL

Margarita Royal w/ Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites Bossier

OUTSTANDING GUEST SERVICE PROFESSIONAL

Ryan Gullatt with Horseshoe Casino

OUTSTANDING HOTEL SALES PROFESSIONAL – SINGLE LOCATION

Lauren Knicely with the Hilton Shreveport

OUTSTANDING HOTEL SALES PROFESSIONAL – MULTI-LOCATION

Joanna Folse Alexander with Sunrise Hospitality

NON-CASINO OUTSTANDING HOUSEKEEPING PROFESSIONAL

Janice Harris with Holiday Inn Express Park Plaza

CASINO OUTSTANDING HOUSEKEEPING PROFESSIONAL

Zawaunyka “Zoe” Washington with The Service Companies

OUTSTANDING TRANSPORTATION/VALET PROFESSIONAL

Virginia Howard with the Horseshoe Casino

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER

Tamara Crane

OUTSTANDING EXECUTIVE

Andrea Butler with Louisiana Downs Racetrack & Casino

DEPARTMENT AWARDS

COMMUNICATIONS

2024 FOODIE FAVES

  • Chef Chapeaux Chapman – Orlandeaux’s Café
  • Chef Anthony and Amanda Felan – Fat Calf Brasserie

2024 CREATIVE COLLABORATOR

  • Chris Dean – KSLA

2024 ATTRACTION ALLSTAR

  • Ami Powers Sci-Port Discovery Center

CONVENTIONS

SPIRIT OF HOSPITALITY AWARD

  • Ted and Tonya Hofmeister

TOUR AND TRAVEL PARTNER OF THE YEAR

  • Bonne Summers 
  • Dr. Cheryl White 
  • Johnny Wessler 
  • Liz Swaine 
  • Winston Hall

CATERING PARTNER OF THE YEAR

  • Chefs Antonio & Besheka McCoy-Harris

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER SPORTS COMMISSION

PARTNER OF THE YEAR

  • Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

SPONSOR OF THE YEAR

  • Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

  • William Bedford 

PINEAPPLE AWARD

The Pineapple Awards — are presented to individuals and organizations who have spent their careers promoting Shreveport-Bossier to visitors and locals alike.   

  • Kathleen Elliott with Louisiana Downs Racetrack & Casino
  • Ruth Hunter, Finance Director at Visit Shreveport-Bossier

TRAIL BLAZER AWARD

The Trailblazer of the Year Award celebrates pioneers in their field who lead with courage and innovation, setting new standards for excellence.

  • Curtis Elkins, Pyromania Fireworks, LLC

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