More than 400 attend luncheon at the Virginia Beach Convention Center honoring local hospitality professionals

(Virginia Beach, Va. – May 11, 2015) The Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the winners of the Virginia Beach National Travel & Tourism Hospitality Awards. These awards, which honor “the best of the best” in the Virginia Beach hospitality industry, were presented during a lively “Studio 54” themed luncheon as a kickoff to the 2015 National Travel & Tourism Week May 2 – 10. Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms presented the prestigious Carlos B. Wilson Lifetime Achievement award to Alan Kitchen of the Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center. Kitchen has been on staff at the VBRCC for 28 years. Virginia Beach CVB Director and Virginia Tourism Corporation President Rita McClenny, along with television host Aubrey Aquino, presented the remaining 35 awards. This year, there was a tie in seven categories – a Virginia Beach record. The winners of the 26th Annual National Travel & Tourism Week Hospitality Award are:

Carlos B. Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award

Alan Kitchen - Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center

• Public Service

Grace Sawyer – Virginia Beach CVB: Visitor Information Center

• Concessions

Courtney Aristy – Distinctive Gourmet

• Educators/Guides

Karen Burns – Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

• Entertainment/Performers

The Tidewater Winds

• Festivals/Events

Amy Frostick – J&A Racing

• Banquet Staff

Matthew Cavana – Distinctive Gourmet

• Catering Staff

John Edgell – Distinctive Gourmet

• Retail

Danielle Renfrew – Paper Source

• Transportation

Glenn and Megan Van Houten – Orange Peel Transportation

• Bartender

David Lukus – Rockafeller’s Restaurant

• Bus Person

Josie Miller – Lynnhaven Fish House

• Chef

LaRue Burgess – Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center

• Dish Washer

Wayne Tindley – Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach

• Host/Hostess

Brittany Quigg – Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant

• Line Cook (tie)

Aaron Dixon – Ashley’s Bistro at Holiday Inn Executive Center

Ramier Tamondong – Courtyard Marriott North

• Manager (Non-Owner)

Chris Ford – Surf Club Ocean Grille at Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront

• Prep Cook

Juanito Cate – Carabba’s Italian Grill

• Valet

Jon Rider – Rockafeller’s Restaurant

• Wait Staff (tie)

Brandon Bryant – TradeWinds Restaurant at Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center

Thomas Claffey – Lynnhaven Fish House

• Activities/Spa/Fitness Coordinator

Rebecca Adams – Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach

• Banquet/Catering (tie)

Mark Hoshak – DoubleTree by Hilton Virginia Beach

Carol Sweeney – Founders Inn & Spa

• Clerical/Front Office (tie)

Aneeshah Adside – Ocean Key Resort

Crystyl Tolmich – Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

• Front Desk (tie)

Taylor Adams – SpringHill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Daniela Ivanova – Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront

• Housekeeping (tie)

Harvey Daniels – Fairfield Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Sandra Smith – Schooner Inn

• Laundry Attendant

Velva Ramsey – Holiday Inn Virginia Beach/ Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center

• Maintenance (tie)

Leon Kelly – Ocean Sands Resort

Antonio Spence – Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

• Sales/Services Manager

Mae Daly – Holiday Inn Virginia Beach/Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center

• Valet/Shuttle

Roger Manalac – Holiday Inn Virginia Beach/Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center

This Friday, May 8, the Virginia Beach CVB will join the Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance during the annual “Thank a Visitor Day” at Norfolk International Airport. Members of the region’s CVBs will greet arriving and departing guests, and thank them for their contribution to the region’s travel and tourism industry. As a leading revenue generator in Virginia Beach, tourism is a driving force for the city’s economy, creating jobs and generating economic impact. In 2013, visitor spending for Virginia Beach reached a record $1.3 billion.  Local travel-supported jobs totaled 12,257 while local and state visitor-related tax revenues were over $108 million. 

For more information, view the 2014 CVB Annual Report online at