South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association to Host its 68th Annual Stars of South Carolina Hospitality Industry Awards

The South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA) will host its 68th Annual Stars of South Carolina Hospitality Awards on Monday, February 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia. Chip Rogers, President and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, will keynote the event.

The Stars of South Carolina Hospitality Awards celebrate the exceptional professionalism and outstanding service of top individuals in the hospitality industry.

“Although these are difficult times, that makes it even more important to take advantage of opportunities to celebrate outstanding accomplishments. That’s one reason why we are looking forward so very much to honoring the best-of-the-best in the South Carolina’s tourism industry,” said John Durst, SCRLA’s President and CEO. “Honoring exceptional work—which exemplifies the highest standards and best practices of the hospitality industry on a daily basis—will be a special, memorable occasion for our industry.”

Awards winners and runners up are listed below.

Community-Based Award winners include:

Hospitality Educator of the Year
Dr. Robin DiPietro • University of South Carolina

Hospitality Supplier of the Year
David Evans • Asheville Hwy Rentals

Outstanding Community Service Program
Palmetto Promotions

Outstanding Community Leader (Private Sector)
Matthew Shirah • Scofflaw Brewing Company

Outstanding Community Leader (Public Sector)
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Our Stars of the Industry finalists include:

Hotelier of the Year
Andrew Cajka • Spartanburg Marriott

Lodging Manager of the Year
Ashley Johnson • Courtyard by Marriott Columbia
Tony Lee • Sheraton Myrtle Beach

Lodging Front of House Employee of the Year
Darren Whitaker • Meeting Street Inn
Toby Wiggers • Graduate Columbia

Lodging Heart of House Employee of the Year
Carole Roglin • Hilton Grand Vacations
Conrad Cooper • DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

Hotel Bartender of the Year
Dorothy Kohl • Westin Poinsett
Phil Sacco • Sheraton Myrtle Beach

Hotel Chef of the Year
Connor Kaiser • DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront
Haydn Shaak • Hotel Domestique/Restaurant 17

Restaurateur of the Year
Anthony DiBernardo • Swig & Swine

Restaurant Manager of the Year
Alberto Vargas • California Dreaming
Hanna Platt • Wild Dunes

Restaurant Front of House Employee of the Year
Acadia Kant • CityRange Steakhouse Grill
Dawn Hlavacek • Croissants Bistro

Restaurant Heart of House Employee of the Year
Malcolm McMillan • Restaurant 17
Sarah Pinkernell • Larkin’s Restaurants

Restaurant Bartender of the Year
Kat Hunter • Bourbon Columbia
Michael Wade • Rick Erwin’s Clemson

Restaurant Chef of the Year
Ben Sanders • RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Nico Romo • NICO | Oysters & Seafood

Outstanding Certified Sommelier
Joe Crossan • Table 301
Sarah Tomlinson • NICO | Oysters & Seafood

Winners will be announced at the gala in February. More information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.scrla.org. Tickets are $40 for SCRLA members and $55 for non-members.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: This in-person event will follow safe meeting guidelines, including: temperature checks, required cloth face coverings, and appropriate social distancing measures to include six people per each 72" table.

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. To learn more about the SCRLA, please visit SCRLA.org.