Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Partners with Vegas Chamber to Celebrate Hospitality Heroes

Tourism Industry’s “Best” Honored

Winners & Finalists Recognized at 2021 Hospitality Heroes Reception

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the Vegas Chamber partnered to celebrate the Hospitality Heroes recognition program with a reception today honoring the winners and finalists of 2021, held at the William H. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
 
In its inaugural year, the Hospitality Heroes recognition program helped shine a light on the outstanding frontline workers who helped make Las Vegas a world-class destination. The yearlong program garnered 175 online nominations since its January launch. Some workers were nominated for their extraordinary customer service and leadership skills while others were recognized for their volunteerism outside of work or their long tenures in the industry.
 
“It’s an honor to recognize these remarkable hospitality workers,” says Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA. “Providing outstanding customer service is part of Las Vegas’ DNA and a primary reason why Las Vegas continues to be the number one tourist destination.”
 
The event included remarks from Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO of the Vegas Chamber and Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the UNLV College of Hospitality. From food preparation to set up and service, the event was entirely executed by hospitality students, representing the future of Southern Nevada’s leading industry.
 
The final winners of the year, Emelyn Del Prado-Cando, food server at Sunset Station, and Alonzo Langstaff and Earl Manson, both 50-year bellmen at Westgate, were also honored during the program. They joined five other winners and 24 finalists who were named during the year. Finalists were awarded with the Vegas Chambers’ Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Award. Winners received a trophy, an Only Vegas gift bag, and a staycation at a local resort and were honored during LVCVA Board of Directors meetings.
 
Hospitality Heroes winners were selected by a committee of local business leaders including Sewald, Shoemaker, Peter Guzman, president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, Scott Muelrath, president and CEO of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, Shaundell Newsome, chair of the Urban Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Sonny Vinuya, president and CEO of the Asian Chamber of Commerce.
 
A complete listing of the 2021 Hospitality Heroes winners and finalists is as follows:
 
2021 Hospitality Heroes Winners

•    Benny Figgins, Dealer at Caesars Palace
•    Bryan Funai, Concierge at Waldorf Astoria
•    Samantha Fry, Pool Operations Manager at Treasure Island
•    Cindy Brown, Slot Shift Manager at California Hotel & Casino
•    Vernon Green, Assistant Chef at Excalibur
•    Emelyn Del Prado-Cando, Food Server at Sunset Station
•    Alonzo Langstaff, Bellman at Westgate
•    Earl Manson, Bellman at Westgate

2021 Hospitality Heroes Finalists

•    Viridiana Ponce Jimenez, Stewarding Admin at Cosmopolitan
•    Luz Gomez, Pantry Worker at Station Casinos
•    Diane Hightower, Cage Cashier Representative at NYNY
•    Karin Leavitt, Housekeeping Floor Manager at Planet Hollywood
•    Ana Siguenza, Executive Housekeeper at MGM Grand
•    Guy Medlin, Security Officer at Park MGM
•    Charles Webb, Utility Porter at Caesars Palace
•    Angela Shedrick, Slot Guest Service Representative at MGM Grand
•    Drew Morgan, Assistant Director at The Cosmopolitan
•    Edward Giustiniani, Concierge at Vdara
•    Taylor Kidney, Lead Instructor at Dig This Las Vegas
•    Alma Mejia Rodriguez, Security Officer at Luxor
•    Jessica Kipi, General Manager at PT’s Tavern
•    Diana Davis, Security Officer at Rio
•    Traci Hadgis, Executive Casino Host at Planet Hollywood
•    Siba Persuitte, Inventory Control Supervisor at Station Casinos
•    Diana Ramirez, Human Resources at Fremont Street Experience
•    Sofia Lavin, Guest Room Attendant at Waldorf Astoria
•    Henry Salcedo, Utility Cleaner at Rio
•    Maria Lozano, Guest Room Attendant at The Orleans
•    Judy Larsen, Concierge at Mirage
•    Umit Ekici, Busser at Station Casinos
•    Angela Mitchell, Catering Coordinator at Station Casinos
•    Peter Lyons, Dealer at Station Casinos


Online nominations for the 2022 Hospitality Heroes program will open in January. For more information about Hospitality Heroes and how you can nominate a deserving hospitality worker, visit www.lvcva.com/advocacy.