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CRDA: 20th Annual Atlantic City Host Awards Honors 27

CRDA: 20th Annual Atlantic City Host Awards Honors 27


Karen Martin

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) recognized 27 individuals in the hospitality and tourism industry during the 20th annual Atlantic City Host Awards, held Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in the Adrian Phillips Theater at Historic Boardwalk Hall.

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.

Each winner received a keepsake commemorative box containing a gold lighthouse lapel pin as a symbol of their beacon of hospitality, an award certificate, assorted sweets and a $250 cash gift card. 


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 150 nominees by a selection committee consisting of educators and representatives from Stockton University, Atlantic Cape Community College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, The Greater Atlantic City Chamber, Local 54, Meet AC and the Bacharach Scholarship Committee.

“Now in its 20th year, the Host Awards continue to recognize the ‘best-of-the-best’ of hospitality employees who go above and beyond the standards in this industry,” said CRDA Director of Communications & Marketing, Larry Sieg, who presented the awards. “These employees leave lasting impressions on our guests and make this destination special for our visitors. They often make the difference in the decision to return to Atlantic City in the future.”


In addition, Atlantic City Tourism District Commander, Thomas Gilbert, was honored with the Spirit of Hospitality Award, which is given to an outstanding individual who has made significant long-term contributions to the region’s hospitality and tourism industry.    

Commander Gilbert has played a pivotal role in developing a multi-layered “Clean and Safe” public safety strategy for Atlantic City which, in turn, has helped to improve the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors by stabilizing Atlantic City’s neighborhoods and public spaces. 


2017 CRDA Atlantic City Host Award Winners:

Best Server, Fine Dining Restaurant privately owned

Jason Brand, Palm Restaurant

Best Server, Casual Dining Restaurant privately owned

Joanne Masterson, Harbor Pines Golf Club

Best Server, Fine Dining Casino Restaurant

Jason Valentino, Caesars Atlantic City

Best Server, Casual Dining Casino Restaurant

Kathleen Ford, Resorts Casino Hotel

Best Server, Banquet/ Catering

Anthony O’Neill, The Water Club

Best Food and Beverage Support

Tri Nguyen, Caesars Atlantic City

Best Bartender

Kevin Donahue, Golden Nugget Atlantic City

Best Host/ Hostess

Pamela Fennell, Bally’s Atlantic City

Best Visitor Information Personnel (Thomas G. Henning Award)

Kevin Kitzpatrick, Harbor Pines Golf Club

Best Retail Sales Associate

Linda Giordano, Harrah’s Atlantic City 

Best Valet

Jose Carmona, Tropicana Casino & Resort

Best Door Person

Robert Ehresmann, Tropicana Casino & Resort

Best Bell Person

David Brida, Tropicana Casino & Resort

Best Room Service Personnel

MD Ullah, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Best Butler

Elvin Alvarado, Bally’s Atlantic City

Best Room Attendant/ Housekeeper

Marta Cruz, Caesars Atlantic City

Best Food Production Personnel

Felipe Aguilar, Bally’s Atlantic City

Best Concierge/ Guest Services

Elvis Wilks, Caesars Atlantic City

Best Heart/ Back of the House

Cathy Johnson, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Best  Reservationist

Nicholas Frazier, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Best Security Personnel

Michael Bowden, Marriott’s Fairway Villas

Best Casino Games Personnel (Ray Kot Award)

Alice Lin, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Best Casino Support Personnel

Jatin Tailor, Caesars Atlantic City

Best Public Area Personnel

Ernest (Tim) Doerbach, Bally’s Atlantic City

Best Cashier

Tina Stalworth, Bally’s Atlantic City

Best Cocktail Server

Mary Taimanglo, Bally’s Atlantic City

Best Spa Personnel

Alexander Price, Harrah’s Atlantic City


Also at the event, the CRDA Foundation and the Greater Atlantic City Concierge Association awarded scholarships to students pursuing degrees in hospitality at Atlantic Cape Community College, Stockton University and Fairleigh Dickinson University, to encourage quality education for employees in the hospitality industry.

2017 Scholarship Awards from the CRDA Foundation and the Greater Atlantic City Concierge Association:

Christy Fernandez, (Galloway, NJ) Stockton University, $1,000

Kimberly Richardson, (Mays Landing, NJ) Fairleigh Dickinson University, $500

Amanda Inza (Long Valley, NJ) Stockton University, $1,000

Antonio Gracia (Egg Harbor Township, NJ) Stockton University, $500

Lieghanna Ritter (Bordentown, NJ) Stockton University, $500

Ruth Parraga (Galloway, NJ) Stockton University, $500

Annie Hajek, (Galloway, NJ) Stockton University, $750

Claire Repisky, (Warminster, PA) Stockton University, $500

Carolina Jost (Vineland, NJ) Atlantic Cape Community College, $250

Darin Dorzan (Somers Point, NJ) Fairleigh Dickinson University, $500

Aglee Burke (Millville, NJ) Fairleigh Dickinson University, $750

Kayla Langborgh (Chatham, NJ) Stockton University, $500

Monica Wilson (Maple Shade, NJ) Stockton University, $1,000

Stephanie Kovacs (Allentown, NJ) Stockton University, $500


Monica Wilson of Toms River, NJ was also presented with the $500 Howard Bacharach Scholarship Foundation Award in memory of the late, 15-year Atlantic City Host Committee member and former executive director of the Atlantic City Hotel & Lodging Association.



About the CRDA:
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents since 1984.  Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, the Authority's mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state's key economic development agency for Atlantic City.  CRDA's expanded responsibilities now include land use regulation, tourism marketing and clean and safe initiatives. The CRDA also oversees Historic Boardwalk Hall (the leading entertainment venue of its size in the country) and the Atlantic City Convention Center.  In total, CRDA has invested nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide, of which $1.8 billion has been invested in Atlantic City, spurring business investments and expansions, and creating permanent jobs in the process. For more information about CRDA and our projects, visit www.njcrda.com.  Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/njcrda.