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Contact the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-723-1548

CONTACT: Michele Goldberg, Director of Marketing
Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau
Tel: (413) 755-1344/E-mail: michele@valleyvisitor.com

GSCVB Announces 21st Annual Howdy Awards Finalists

Springfield, MA-- (4/8/16) - The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) has named 52  individuals from throughout Western MA as finalists for the 2016 Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence.  The awards program, established in 1996, was created by the Bureau to recognize front-line employees in the hospitality industry for providing outstanding service to their guests and customers.

"The Howdy Awards really do double-duty for our region," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Chair of the Howdy Awards Committee. "The first purpose is to salute the outstanding individuals who work so hard to make a visit to Western Massachusetts a memorable, high-value experience. They keep people coming back. The second purpose is to help everyone who lives and works here, from the general public to elected officials to business leaders, to recognize and appreciate the vital role that tourism plays in our regional economy."

Doleva points out that over 5,000 persons are employed in the region’s tourism sector, with payroll exceeding $162 million, in turn generating nearly $17 million in local tax revenue. Domestic and international travelers spent approximately $750 million in the three-county region in calendar year 2014 (the most recent data available). "We're talking about big, important numbers; these dollars circulate through our economy supporting other jobs and business as well. The overall economic impact of tourism is profound and far-reaching," added Doleva.

The finalists, initially selected from businesses, organizations and activities from throughout Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties, are then judged by a group of recognized industry professionals from outside the region to insure impartiality.  The winners will be announced and honored at a gala dinner and awards presentation on May 16, at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

One winner will be named in each of the nine categories -- Accommodations, Attractions, Banquets & Meetings, Beverage, Food–Casual, Food–Tableside, Public Service, Retail, and Transportation. The Food category is comprised of three sub-categories: Casual, Tableside and Banquets & Meetings. Finally, the Spotlight Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to the tourism industry in the Pioneer Valley will be presented. (See chart of all finalists below.)

Sponsors for the 2016 Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence include MGM Springfield, Yankee Candle Company, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, WWLP TV-22, Aladco Linen Co., Spectra Venue Management, MA Convention Center Authority, Freedom Credit Union, The Log Cabin/Delaney House, Masslive.com, Performance Foodservice, Williams Distributing, Mix 93.1/WHYN News Talk 560, Eastern States Exposition and The Republican.

Tickets to the Howdy Gala in May are on sale now and are $75.00 per person, and $750 for a table of ten.  For tickets or more information regarding the Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence, call Michele Goldberg at the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau at (413) 755-1344.


The GSCVB, an affiliate of the Economic Development Council of Western MA, is a private non-profit destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley for meetings and conventions, group tours, sports and leisure travel. For more information on the GSCVB, visit www.valleyvisitor.com or like us on facebook at www.facebook.com/valleyvisitor and follow us on twitter using handle @PValleyvisitor. Engage with us using #westernma.

In the Category of Accommodations:

Angel Arroyo Front Desk Clerk Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Westfield
Susanna Cardaropoli Breakfast Atendant Holiday Inn Express-Ludlow
Cathy Forette Sales Manager LaQuinta Inn & Suites-Springfield
Alyssa Hurtado Desk Agent D.Hotel & Suites-Holyoke
Gwendolyn Lehan Breakfast Hostess Hampton Inn & Suites-Hadley
Sabrina Pretti Front Desk Associate Hilton Garden Inn-Springfield
Monique Ball Front Desk Associate Hampton Inn & Suites-Greenfield

In the Category of Attractions:

Sabrina Brizzolari Event Manager MassMutual Center
Ray Clark Museum Show Staff Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Michael Gabis Merchandise Manager Springfield Falcons
Gillian Palmer Business Dev. Coordinator Eastern States Exposition
Roger Johnson Volunteer Springfield Armory National Historic Site

In the Category of Beverage:

Dan Brown Bartender The Delaney House
Michael Cole Bartender Wiggins Tavern
Michelle Hunter Bartender Chandler's Restaurant
Donald Hanna Jr. Mixologist/Server Casa di Lisa Restaurant
Carmine Manzi Bartender Villa Napoletana
Gina Stevens Bartender Atlas Pub
Victoria Torti Bartender 30Boltwood

In the Category of Banquet & Meetings:

Catherine Kingsbury-Jindela Sales Coordinator Lord Jeffery Inn
Jeffrey Renaud Banquet Captain Lord Jeffery Inn
Rebecca Whiteford Event Planner The Log Cabin

In the Category of Food - Casual:

Silvana Cardaropoli Server Palazzo Cafe
Stella Matos Manager Dunkin Donuts
Roger Frigon Director, Savory Suppers Atkin's Farms Country Store
Meghan Kelly Shift Supervisor Dunkin Donuts

In the Category of Food - Tableside:

Shari Bray Server Kristina's Kafe & Bakery
Eric Damkoehler Sous Chef The Delaney House
Andrew Demers Server Bertucci's
Kara Ferris Server Chandler's
Eliza Henderson Cafe Staff Chandler's
Chris Kubala Server Red Rose Pizzeria
Victor Siano Server Friendly's
Kendra Stone Server Florence Pizza
Joe Ribiero Server Uno's Chicago Grill
David Nash Server Yankee Pedlar

In the Category of Public Service:

Michele Gonzalez Receptionist Jewish Community Center-Physical Therapy
Bob Belmer Custodian Glenbrook Middle School
Ed Calabrese Concierge Baystate Medical Center
Alicia Ralph

Visitor Center Assistant

Greater Northampton Chamber
of Commerce

In the Category of Retail/Business:

Maurice Daniels Cashier F.L. Roberts
Kyle Douglas Systems Technician ATC Audio
Dave Harris Santa Yankee Candle Village
Mallory Siebert Sales Associate Yankee Candle Village
Tom Savage Sales Associate Yankee Candle Village
Rick Stolar Sales Associate Table & Vine
Rose Morin Store Manager Big Y

In the Category of Transportation:

James Saul Driver Peter Pan Bus Lines
Barbara Eckert Parking Lot Attendant Executive Parking-MassMutual Lot
Dan Osman Toll Collector MA Dept. of Transportation

Jill Laliberte

Valet Park of America

D'Amour Center for Cancer Care,
Baystate Health
Lory Sleeper Charter Manager First Student

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