SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) is accepting nominations for people that work in the hospitality industry across western Massachusetts.

From now through March 1, nominations will be accepted from people that felt they had been noticeably well-treated by a hospitality staff person in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties in the last year. The Howdy Awards has been recognizing outstanding restaurant servers, attraction attendants, bartenders, hotel personnel, and more for the past 26 years.

Nominations will be accepted for the following categories:

• Accommodations
• Attractions
• Banquets & Meetings
• Beverage
• Food Casual
• Food Tableside
• Public Service
• Retail
• Transportation
• People’s Choice – voted on by the public via social media

“It’s amazing how popular the Howdy Awards have become, and we work hard to keep that momentum going,” says GSCVB President Mary Kay Wydra. “We started this over twenty-six years ago, in the hopes we’d help attract some attention for the hundreds of great front-line folks who meet and greet visitors every day, and it simply took off.”

To nominate someone, head to ExploreWesternMass.com and click on the Howdy logo. Those that receive the strongest feedback will be placed in the finals. Finalist will be judged by a three-person panel selected from outside western Massachusetts to ensure impartiality.

This year’s award dinner will be held on May 15 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.