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Atlantic City Press Release


For Immediate Release: May 09, 2013   Print/Save Page
16th Annual Atlantic City Host Awards Honors 27 Hospitality Workers
For the ACCVA:
Elaine Zamansky, 609-449-7166
Karen Martin, 609-449-7126
David Zuba, 609-449-7125

For Lou Hammond & Associates:
Doug Ruchefsky, 212-308-8880

The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) division of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority recognized 27 individuals in the hospitality field during the annual Host Awards on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. (See the following list of award recipients.)

Presented each year during National Travel and Tourism Week, the Host Awards salute and encourage outstanding customer service by employees in the tourism, hospitality and retail industries who contribute to Atlantic City's success as a friendly, world-class destination.

Presented by Jeffrey Vasser, president of the ACCVA, each Host Award winner received a prize package consisting of a commemorative lighthouse lapel pin to signify that they are beacons of hospitality, as well as a $200 cash gift card, chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory located at Tanger Outlets The Walk, and complimentary dinner for two in one of Atlantic City's fine dining establishments.

Host Award winners were nominated for their enthusiasm, exemplary customer service and ability to enhance the overall experience of the visitors they serve. They were chosen from more than 300 nominees by a selection committee consisting of educators, along with representatives from area organizations including the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, Local 54 and the Atlantic City Hotel & Lodging Association, among others.

In presenting the awards, Vasser noted, "Tonight's Host Award nominees represent the best of the best out of the thousands of people who work in Atlantic City, and we thank each of you for your hard word and dedication. The experience we give our visitors is a large part of making Atlantic City a 'must do' destination, and you are leading the way."

In addition, the Dougherty family, owners and operators of Dock's Restaurant, the Knife and Fork Inn and Harry's Oyster Bar, was honored with the Spirit of Hospitality Award, sponsored by TD Bank. The Spirit of Hospitality Award is given to an outstanding individual or individuals who made a significant long-term contribution to the region's hospitality and travel industry.

"The landscape of Atlantic City dining and the city's restaurant history are much richer because of the Dougherty family. This truly is an Atlantic City restaurant dynasty, with an unwaivering commitment to quality food and service, along with a strong belief in Atlantic City," Vasser said.

Also part of the proceedings, the ACCVA Foundation and the Greater Atlantic City Concierge Association awarded scholarships to students pursuing degrees in hospitality at Atlantic Cape Community College, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Fairleigh Dickinson University, to encourage quality education for employees in the hospitality industry. (A list of scholarship recipients follows.)


The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, a division of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), serves as the destination's principal marketing arm, stimulating economic growth through convention, business and leisure tourism development. The Authority oversees the management of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall. The Authority is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International. For complete Atlantic City information, visit

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2013 Host Award Winners

Best Server, Fine Dining Restaurant Not Owned by a Casino:
Helen De Salle, Dock's Oyster House

Best Server Casual Dining Not Owned by a Casino
Joksan Cedilo, The Melting Pot

Best Server, Fine Dining Casino Restaurant
Vito Caccavo, Revel

Best Server, Casual Dining Casino Restaurant
Catherine Atkins, Harrah's

Best Server, Banquet/Catering
Kieran Kerrigan, Resorts

Best Food and Beverage Support
Hector Rodriquez, Showboat

Best Bartender
Richard Roman, Bally's

Best Host/Hostess
Johnny Troche, Tropicana

Best Visitor Information Personnel (Thomas G. Henning Award)
George (Buddy) Grover, Absecon Lighthouse

Best Retail Sales
Alvin Pasagui, Borgata/Water Club

Best Valet
Neil Kahhan, Atlantic Club

Best Door Person
Boris Dragovcic, Tropicana

Best Bell Person
Robert Mayer, Revel

Best Room Service Personnel
Michael Krol, Trump Taj Mahal

Best Butler
Peter Aiuto, Atlantic Club

Best Room Attendant/Housekeeper
Michelle Conover, Marriott's Fairway Villas

Best Food Production Personnel
Nohemi (Mimi) Garcia, Bally's

Best Concierge/Guest Services
Jennie Thomas, Boardwalk Hall

Best Heart/Back of the House
Juan Guzman, Atlantic City Convention Center

Best Reservationist
Lauren Finneran, Marriott's Fairway Villas

Best Security Personnel
Walter Dyitt, Atlantic City Convention Center

Best Casino Games Personnel (Ray Kot Award)
Alex Nargi, Golden Nugget

Best Casino Support Personnel
Julian Marin, Caesars

Best Public Area Personnel
Rafela Torruella, Tropicana

Best Cashier
Joanne Rosa, Atlantic City Convention Center

Best Cocktail Server
Mary Deleone, Bally's

Best Spa Attendant
Kristina Collazo, Golden Nugget

2013 Scholarship Awards from the ACCVA Foundation and the greater Atlatnic City Concierge Association:

$1,000 Scholarships

Nancy Maslowas of Pomona, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Kimberly Richardson of Mays Landing, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Alexandra Djolovich of Hammonton, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Patrick Rafferty of Galloway Township, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Krystle Kay Bendijo of Egg Harbor Township, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Melinda Graff of Galloway Township, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Anthony Rando of Northfield, Atlantic Cape Community College
Nicholas LaRotonda of Absecon, Atlantic Cape Community College

$500 Merit Scholarships
Angela Parise of Toms River, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Heather Marie Dodson of Woodcliff Lake, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Sofia Sansweet of Ventnor, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Jennifer Cittadino of Eatontown, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Magen Davies of Cranford, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Mary Bennett of Egg Harbor, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Olga Koteva-Gorgiev of Mays Landing, Atlantic Cape Community College
Sharon Beals of Egg Harbor City, Atlantic Cape Community College