South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Announces Upstate Hospitality Award Winners

The South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA) is pleased to announce the winners for the 8th Annual Upstate Hospitality Awards, celebrating the exceptional professionalism and outstanding service of top individuals in the industry. The Awards Ceremony will be held Monday, November 9 at the Hilton Greenville Hotel.

Nominations are accepted from SCRLA members in the Upstate, including Anderson, Greenville, Pickens and Spartanburg Counties. The winners include:

• Restaurant Front of the House Employee of the Year: Acadia Kant, CityRange Steakhouse Grill - Spartanburg
• Restaurant Heart of the House Employee of the Year: Sarah Pinkernell, Larkin’s Restaurants
• Restaurant Bartender of the Year: Michael Wade, Rick Erwin’s Clemson
• Restaurant Outstanding Certified Sommelier: Joe Crossan, Table 301
• Restaurant Chef of the Year: Haydn Shaak, Restaurant 17
• Restaurant Manager of the Year: Alberto Vargas, California Dreaming
• Restaurateur of the Year: Nello Gioia, Ristorante Bergamo
• Lodging Front of the House Employee of the Year: AC Clark, Embassy Suites Greenville Golf Resort
• Lodging Heart of the House Employee of the Year: Tara Garner, Residence Inn by Marriott Greenville
• Lodging Bartender of the Year: Dorothy Kohl, Westin Poinsett Hotel
• Lodging Manager of the Year: David Hicks, Embassy Suites Greenville Golf Resort
• Hotelier of the Year: Andrew Cajka, Spartanburg Marriott
• Hospitality Educator of the Year: Elijah Edwards, Golden Strip Career Center
• Outstanding Community Service Program: Ruthie Smith, Upstate Service Industry United

Award winners have the potential to win a statewide SCRLA Stars of the South Carolina Hospitality Industry Award in January. For more information about the Upstate Hospitality Awards, please visit www.scrla.org/upstate_ awards.

About the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association
For more than 75 years, the SCRLA’s mission has been to promote, protect and educate the foodservice and lodging industries of our state and to ensure positive business growth for our members. The SCRLA strives to represent the best interests of its members on small business issues, hospitality and tourism concerns and towards the protection of South Carolina’s quality of life.

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