The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) recognized 25 individuals in the hospitality and tourism industry during the 22nd annual Atlantic City Host Awards, held Wednesday, May 8, 2019 in the Adrian Phillips Theater at Jim Whelan 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 100 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.
“Our Host Awards program is one of the finest events in the industry,” said CRDA Director of Communications & Marketing, Larry Sieg. “Honoring these hospitality employees is a tribute to them and to the millions of visitors that come to our destination each year.”
In addition, local media personality, Whitney Ullman, received the prestigious 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.
With over 15 years in the media industry, Whitney has long been a proponent of Atlantic City tourism. She has placed coverage of her @GoToWhitney and The City Pulse brands on both local and national media platforms.
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.
2019 Scholarship Awards from the CRDA Foundation and the Greater Atlantic City Concierge Association:
Mackenzie Smith – Ventnor, NJ Atlantic Cape Community College $750 John Jackson Award
Gabriella Titus – Highlands, NJ Stockton University $750
Anna Cavalieri – Mantua, NJ Stockton University $750
Artesha Lewis – Mays Landing, NJ, Atlantic Cape Community College $750
Daysarah Negroni – Hammonton, NJ, Stockton University $1,000
Jasmine Wilker– Robbinsville, NJ, Stockton University $1,250, Howard Bacharach Award
Christopher Rizzo – Keyport, NJ, Stockton University $2,000, Harry Hurley Award
2019 Merit Scholarships
Gloria Finnan – Oakland, NJ, Stockton University $250
Jorie Ann Berube – Eatontown, NJ, Stockton University $250
Christina Nagiey – Pennington, NJ, Stockton University $250
Tiffany DiDonato – Sicklerville, NJ, Stockton University $500
Kimberly D’Angelo – Mays Landing, NJ Fairleigh Dickenson $500
2019 Atlantic City Host Awards Winners
Spirit of Hospitality Award Recipient - Whitney Ullman
Best Retail Sales Associate – Rita Cassidy, The Little Dollhouse by the Sea
Best Room Service Personnel – Johanna Delossantos, Caesars Atlantic City
Best Bartender – Mary Romano, Bally’s Atlantic City
Best Host/Hostess – Kathleen Renda, Caesars Atlantic City
Best Cashier – Lucecita Perez, Ocean Casino Resort
Best Cocktail Server – Denise Pocoroba, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
Best Reservationist – Lisa Bitler, Bally’s Atlantic City
Best Room Attendant/Housekeeper – Ashly Andrews,The Water Club
Best Casino Host – Helena Penza, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City.
Best Server, Banquet/Catering – Henry Nguyen, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City
Best Visitor Information Service Personnel (Thomas G. Henning Award) – Edward Fonte, ABM
Best Guest Services/Concierge – Ian Sweeney, Harbor Pines Golf Club
Best Server, Fine Dining Restaurant – Michael Snow, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Best Public Area Personnel – Johnny Sanchez, Caesars Atlantic City
Best Casino Support Personnel – Angelo Concepcion, Jr., Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Best Valet – Danilo “Danny” Pagar, Tropicana Atlantic City
Best Heart/Back of the House Personnel – Freddi Aycaipa-Hinostra, Caesars Atlantic City
Best Spa Personnel – Andrew German, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Best Bell Person – Edward Jernigan, Caesars Atlantic City
Best Security Personnel – Charles Harlan, Harrah’s Atlantic City
Best Food and Beverage Support – Victor Guardado, Resorts Casino Hotel
Best Server, Casual Dining Restaurant – Maximo Vasquez, Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Best Food Production Personnel – Tony Glover, Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City
Best Door Person – Bozidar “Bob” Pesic, Tropicana Atlantic City
Best Casino Games Personnel (Ray Kot Award) – Linda Stewart, Bally’s Atlantic City
About the CRDA:
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the 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 and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NJCRDA.
For destination photos and videos, media may visit www.doatlanticcity.com/mediaonline where dozens of assets are available for download. For complete Atlantic City tourism information, visit www.doatlanticcity.com. Follow us on Facebook (DoAtlanticCity), Twitter (@VisitAC) and Instagram (@DoAC).