Virginia Beach CVB Announces Winners of 26th Annual National Travel & Tourism Hospitality Awards

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

Friday, May 08, 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 and Ramier Tamondong at 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 and 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 and Carol Sweeney – Founders Inn & Spa
• Clerical/Front Office (tie): Aneeshah Adside – Ocean Key Resort and Crystyl Tolmich – Virginia Beach Resort Hotel
• Front Desk (tie): Taylor Adams – SpringHill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront and Daniela Ivanova – Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront
• Housekeeping (tie): Harvey Daniels – Fairfield Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront and Sandra Smith – Schooner Inn
• Laundry Attendant: Velva Ramsey – Holiday Inn Virginia Beach/ Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center
• Maintenance (tie): Leon Kelly – Ocean Sands Resort and Antonio Spence – Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

• Sales/Services Manager and 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


Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (
Where the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay meet, Virginia Beach promises visitors a unique chance to “Live the Life.” Nature at its finest, just-caught and just-picked local food, and toes-in-the-sand relaxation combine for a soul-satisfying experience. A world-renowned boardwalk, energetic downtown, state-of-the-art Convention Center, abundant parks and waterways, and mild weather give rise to an active lifestyle and flourishing local culture. The Virginia Beach CVB is responsible for promoting year-round leisure, business, meetings and conventions, international and sports travel to Virginia’s most populous city. For media information and images, visit Follow Virginia Beach on Twitter at, Instagram at, Facebook at and Pinterest at


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