R.I. Hospitality Association awards industry stars

SCOTT DAMIANO of Hyatt Regency Newport, excitedly accepts his award for Hotel Employee of the Year. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATION/RICHARD KIZIRIAN
SCOTT DAMIANO of Hyatt Regency Newport, excitedly accepts his award for Hotel Employee of the Year. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATION/RICHARD KIZIRIAN

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Hospitality Association gave out dozens of awards Wednesday night recognizing exceptional work in the hospitality, food service and tourism industries.

More than 600 people attended the event, which was held at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Award recipients were nominated by their bosses, co-workers and even customers in more than 20 categories, with two to three nominations per category. The public and elected officials of the board voted for the winners, who took home trophies.

Special guests included Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.

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The awards, which are not listed in order of importance, include:

  • President’s Award: James Pezzullo, Sysco Boston LLC.

  • Chairman’s Award: H. Robert Bacon, Gregg’s Restaurants & Pubs.

  • Hotelier of the Year: Kevin Buchanan, Hilton Garden Inn, Providence Airport/Warwick.

  • Restaurateur of the Year: Brian E. Casey, Oak Hill Tavern.

  • Vendor of the Year: Falvey Linen Supply.

  • Vendor Representative of the Year: Robert Tedeschi, Performance Food Group.

  • Volunteer of the Year: Steve Hinger, Drum Rock Products and Cheryl Cohen, Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

  • Chef of the Year: Marty Lyons, XO Café.

  • Mary Brennan Tourism Award: Jessica Willi, Block Island Tourism Council.

  • Hospitality Ambassador of the Year: Mayor James Diossa, Central Falls.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Lorraine Kane, Quidnessett Country Club.

  • Media Partner of the Year: WCTK – Cat Country 98.1.

  • Woman of the Year: Kathleen Masino, SMG/Rhode Island Convention Center.

  • Man of the Year: Kenneth M. Cusson, Newport Harbor Corporation.

Also presented were the Rhode Island Hospitality Education Foundation Stars of the Industry Awards, as follows:

  • Chairman’s Award: Constance Howes, Women & Infants Hospital and Chair of Governors Workforce Board.

  • Teacher of the Year: Chef Linda Musch, Chariho Regional Career & Technical Center.

  • Education Partnership of the Year: New England Tech.

  • Education Ambassador of the Year: Matt Plumb, Brick Alley Pub.

Hotel Employees of the Year included:

  • Jo-Anne Abad, Radisson Hotel Providence Airport.

  • Leigh Adamo, Hilton Providence.

  • Sharod Beach, Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.

  • Jennifer Bergeron, Providence Biltmore Hotel.

  • Annabelle Colon, Providence Biltmore Hotel.

  • Scott Damiano, Hyatt Regency Newport.

  • Penne Dugan, The Village Inn.

  • Deborah Lioce, The Village Inn.

  • Francisco (Frank) Lopes, Providence Biltmore Hotel.

  • Jenny Merrill, Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.

  • Dino Monteiro, Providence Biltmore Hotel.

  • Martha Murray, The Village Inn.

  • Hannah O’Toole, Hampton Inn & Suites Providence.

  • Jose Ortiz, Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown.

  • Bianca Pagan, Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel.

  • Crystal Papino, Providence Biltmore Hotel.

  • Lori Pascone, Residence Inn by Marriott.

  • Sherry Pirolli, The Village Inn.

  • Felix Santana, Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel.

  • Amy Staples, Hilton Garden Inn Providence Airport/Warwick.

  • Lawrence Yang, Hilton Providence.

  • Jesse Whitsitt-Lynch, The Village Inn.

Restaurant Employees of the Year included:

  • Bonnie Berretto, The Lobster Pot.

  • Chris Blouin, Luxe Burger Bar.

  • Lesley Bolton, Avenue N American Kitchen.

  • Deryk Faucher, Lighthouse Bar, Twin River Casino.

  • Chris Hijazin, Shula’s 347.

  • Marissa Renchen, Twin River Casino.

  • Nick Tartagelione, Twin River Casino.

  • Jennifer Trautvetter-Webster, Pier 49.

  • Lee Terra, The Lobster Pot.

  • Jana Gae Turner, Point Judith Country Club.

Caterer Employees of the Year included:

  • Steven James, Hyatt Regency Newport.

  • Kerry Sullivan, McGrath Clambakes.

  • Bobby Winfield, Providence Biltmore Hotel.

  • Twin River Event Center Houseman Team, Twin River Casino: Kyle Bates, Andre Collins, David Domenico, Paul Furtado, Jr, Robert Reardon, Devin Rosa, Eddie Vazquez.

Tourism Awards were presented to:

  • Chris Boss, Twin River Casino.

  • Kerri Furtado, Providence Warwick CVB.

  • Dan Fryer, Preservation Society of Newport County.

Allied Award winners, who are recognized for service in the hospitality industry, included:

  • Justin Andrade, Ultimate Hospitality.

  • Paul Annicelli, Ecolab.

  • Wayne Brown, Ecolab.

  • Michaela Gibbons, Regency Plaza.

  • Michael Santucci, Ultimate Hospitality.

In a new category, Under 30 Emerging Leader Awards were given to:

  • Kimberley Boardman, OceanCliff.

  • Kayla Elizabeth Bostic, Angelo’s Palace Pizza.

  • Adam Cole, Gregg’s Restaurants & Pubs.

  • Renee Lancia, Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown.

  • Rachel Mancini, Gregg’s Restaurants & Pubs.

  • Samantha Rodrigues, OceanCliff.

  • Rebecca Scott, OceanCliff.

  • Kimberly Wells, 22 Bowen’s.

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