June 16, 2023
It is with immense joy and pride that the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of the 2023 Stars of the Industry Awards winners. This year’s ceremony, our first since the challenging times of the pandemic, exceeded all expectations, with over 400 attendees joining us in honoring the best and brightest in our industry. Congratulations to all the winners for their exceptional contributions and unwavering dedication!
AzLTA Member of the Year
Encore and AzLTA Board Member Neal Williams
Karen Cahn, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
Food & Beverage Employee of the Year
Manuel Casiano, Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa
Front of the House Leader of the Year
Christine Barkulis, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, The Wigwam Resort
General Manager of the Year
Mark “Coach V” Vinciguerra – General Manager, The Phoenician and the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician
The Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Guest Service/Bell Staff Employee of the Year
Miquel Torres, Head Houseperson, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
Heart of the House Leader of the Year
Sergio Lopez, Special Events Supervisor, Canyon Ranch Tucson
Hospitality & Tourism Without Barriers
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
Housekeeping/Engineering/Maintenance Employee of the Year
Jose “Lorenzo” Lara, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney’s Resort & Spa
Sales/Catering Employee of the Year
Lori Grossenbacher, Area Sales Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Chandler/ Residence Inn Ocotillo
Special Event: One-Time
The Arizona Diamondbacks, World Baseball Classic
Tourism Employee of the Year
James Keller and his Five Lobby Dogs, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Tourism Manager of the Year
Leslie McClendon, Visit Yuma
All honorees must be employed by hotels, attractions, tourism businesses, hospitality or other supporting businesses that are of the Arizona hospitality industry.
The Stars of the Industry awards competition is open to all Arizona hospitality businesses, hotels, and tourism employees.
Anyone! A nominator can be an employer, a manager, a friend, regular customer, or anyone else who knows a Star in Arizona’s hospitality industry who deserves recognition.
Entering or nominating for the Stars of the Industry Awards is free.
All nominees will receive an AzLTA Stars of the Industry Recognition Certificate. The winners of each award will be announced at the Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon on June 16, 2023 and receive an engraved plaque at the awards presentation. All winners will be announced in AzLTA’s Industry Insider newsletter, by a press release, and on the AzLTA website. Winners will automatically be entered in the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s national Stars of the Industry Awards program. It is AzLTA’s privilege to celebrate the accomplishments of all the nominees and winners presented each year.
The nomination process begins in April and we’ve made it easy. Simply complete the online nominee application form and email the application to AzLTA explaining why the nominee deserves the Star award in their category.
Nominees must have served in the industry for a minimum of two years (please state total number of years in description) and will be judged on performance beyond normal job responsibilities, professionalism, and outstanding and unusual service to the property, guests and the community.
Using no more than three double-spaced pages, describe why your nominee should be honored. Give examples of:
Include photos and any materials substantiating the award entry, such as letters of commendation, guest comment cards, news clippings and other support materials received during 2021-2023 for the judges’ consideration.