SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Ten local people from the hospitality industry were honored at Monday night’s Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence.
The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) recognized front-line employees that went above and beyond in their duties and provided outstanding service to their guests and customers. There were 58 finalists heading into Monday night’s award show.
“We’re proud and happy to present the Howdy Awards to honor just some of the most important people in the hospitality industry, the frontline workers,” said GSCVB President Mary Kay Wydra. “They are usually the first person a visitor encounters, and if they’re especially nice and go above and beyond, that visitor is likely to return to that – and other – tourism locations.”
Here are the winners of the 2023 Howdy Awards:
- Accommodations: Charlene Golden, Front Desk Agent at Residence Inn in Chicopee
- Attractions: Cindy Burke, Event Usher at MassMutual Center in Springfield
- Banquet & Meetings: Julio Pagan, Event Manager at MassMutual Center in Springfield
- Beverage: Aechmia Cote, Bartender at Irish Ale House in Springfield
- Food – Casual: Christina Raschi, Owner/Operator of 413 Café in Springfield
- Food – Tableside: Jill Sherman, Server at The Grapevine Restaurant in Longmeadow
- Public Service: Caroline Robinson, Concierge at Baystate Health in Springfield
- Retail: Cindy Browning, Sales Associate at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield
- Transportation: Madeline Rivera, School Bus Driver for First Student in Springfield
- Spotlight Winner: The Bean Restaurant Group
- 2023 People’s Choice Winner: January Russell, Insurance Agent for Horace Mann Insurance
The Bean Restaurant Group was honored with the Howdy Award for Hospitality Excellence on Monday. This award is given annually to an individual or organization that is making an enduring and positive impact on the regional visitor economy.
Each Howdy Award winner was given a decorative glass Hospitality Excellence Award, a framed certificate of achievement, a Howdy Winner lapel pin, a custom Yankee Candle gift basket and a gift bag filled with gift certificates to local businesses.