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Honorees:

Above and Beyond VIP Concierge  Liseth Giraldo,  Director of Business Development

  • Since coming to ABCVIP in January 2022, Liseth has set a new standard for our team. Her brilliance, patience, ability to adjust, and level of professionalism have been exceptional. Liseth came to us with no experience in hospitality or events and despite the ever-changing challenges of the industries, along with the many moving parts of ABCVIP, Liseth continues to excel and she does it with a smile and a positive attitude. Her drive and ability to manage our substantial growth during her short time here have been a catalyst to our success and I am so incredibly proud to have her on our team!

American Airlines  Dulce Gomez,  Manager, Corporate Giving & Sponsorships

  • Dulce has been supporting NYC’s best for 10+ years. Supporting the Arts On & Off Broadway, Roundabout & Apollo theaters, programs supporting BIPOC students pursuing theatrical careers and Latino filmmakers/talent participating in the NY Latino Film Festival. She also launched snippets of Broadway at JKF promoting Broadway to incoming tourists. Focused on humanitarian efforts partnering with organizations such as CityMeals including their infamous chef’s tribute with over 40 of the city’s most acclaimed chefs. She has partnered with Tourism Boards, Consulates & Foundations to promote new routes & tourism to NYC. She continuously supports large scale events including Desai Foundation and Diwali at Times Square; she’s also partnered with various organizations engaging and promoting women in tourism. She is an innovative female leader making significant contributions to American Airlines and the tourism industry as a whole.

American Tour Guide Association Paula Reynolds,  President

  • Paula Reynolds, President of American Tour Guide Association is an innovative Tour Operator with years of experience in many top destinations and areas of travel. As CEO of a business that is inclusive of all travelers combined with her experience and knowledge have allowed her to adapt based on business and clients’ needs.  She is an accomplished Tour Director and Sommelier. She has developed a training program that continuously adapts to the changing tourism market. Her companies’ dedication to groups of all nationalities has allowed her to succeed and expand.

Apollo Theater  Billy Mitchell,  Tour Director/Apollo Ambassador

  • The Apollo Historic tour connects the past, present and future of the Apollo through the entertaining and inspiring storytelling of Apollo historian Billy “Mr. Apollo” Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell has interacted with thousands of visitors from around the world, transporting them through the Apollo’s history and pivotal eras in Harlem with a unique presentation that is part performance and part historical lecture. With his backstage memories and stories about Apollo legends like James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, and more, Mr. Mitchell provides a unique behind-the-scenes insight that only a true insider can give.

A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours  Marc Sauve,  Tour Guide

  • Marc’s exuberance and passion for what he does earns him consistent 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor where folks consistently leave comments like “Marc, the best tour guide ever, took time to connect with everyone on the bus; to entertain us with his stories, and to educate us on Brooklyn’s history.” Over the past 10 years, Marc has helped elevate the role of the New York City tour guide and public face of NYC tourism. There’s a reason why folks come back again and again to do tours with him.

Charm Aviation  Jacki Taylor,  Regional Operations Manager

  • Jacki is not only one of the most influential people in our company’s history, but her positive attitude is incredibly infectious. Compound that with her any-obstacle can be overcome tenacity and integrity, she’s one of the most valuable people in the Charm Aviation family. She works tirelessly to ensure safety comes first and provides unparalleled customer service deliverables to each and every New York City visitor. She’s the reason we have such a stellar reputation in NYC!

Davler Media Group Ray Winn,  Director of Operations

  • Ray Winn through his oversight of distribution of City Guides and City Maps helps millions of people from throughout the world discover NYC. He is responsible for the delivery of 3,000,000 copies of City Guide magazines and 1,200,000 City Maps to over 300 hotels and information centers. Hundreds of concierges rely on him to make sure their desks are stocked with the information that guests request. Ray is a rare individual who attends to every detail, assuring that assignments are completed with excellence. Many visitors to NYC have had more enjoyable trips because Ray Winn has made sure that there is a magazine or map available to them.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House Goddess Matula,  Maitre D’

  • Goddess has been the backbone of America’s number one grossing restaurant for over a decade. She has booked more reservations, parties and had the greatest impact in tourism than anyone else in NYC in her position.

Disney Theatrical Group Nicholas Faranda,  Senior Manager, Global Sales

  • Over his ten years of dedicated service to The Walt Disney Company and the NYC tourism industry, few people have been as steadfastly engaged in delivering the Broadway experience globally as Nicholas Faranda. With a keen focus on the client and guest experience, Nicholas has innovated several loyalty initiatives while establishing the trust of his clients in a variety of different tourism verticals including Groups and FIT development. He has personally helped with the cultivation of other talented individuals while unfailingly delivering the very best in service.

Edge at Hudson Yards Desiree Thurman,  Director of Operations

  • Desiree is an amazing and essential part of our team at Hudson Yards. She seamlessly makes a huge and complicated operation run effectively and efficiently across three attractions. Desiree also manages a team of over 100 but always goes above and beyond to make it personal for each employee. She works tirelessly to make sure everything and everyone are working smoothly. Desiree is our behind-the-scenes star and one of the kindest people you can meet. She more than deserves recognition and to be honored for all of her hard work.

Empire State Building Observatory Renita Edmond,  Guest Service Ambassador

  • Renita Edmond has been working with the ESB Observatory since August of 2001 and has grown to be the face of our first-class customer service. Always smiling and interacting with our guests, Renita is the go-to person for VIP tours, celebrity visits and going the extra mile. Search her name in any of our customer review platforms and you are sure to find stories of her going above and beyond and delivering a 5-star customer experience every time. We are extremely lucky that she has been with us for 21 years and recognize her continuing dedication to the tourism industry!

Entertainment Community Fund Douglas Ramirez,  Director of Special Events

  • Douglas Ramirez is an inspiring producer of events and while his whole career is remarkable, his service to the entertainment community during the pandemic merits special recognition. He produced in-person and web-based special events, from a bi-coastal and web-based gala in 2022, to introduce us as the Entertainment Community Fund, to a stream of BOMBSHELL early in the pandemic which garnered 3 million views and raised $800K. In 2021, with TikTok, he led production of a new musical RATOTOUILE, which raised $2 million. Douglas produces small and very big events, and everyone is done with a touch of class.

GANYC Tour Guide  Guides Association of New York City,  Licensed Tour Guides

  • The Guides Association of New York City is an organization without any paid staff; they are all volunteers. However, they are really the staff for tourists who visit New York City as they are behind the scenes carefully creating information needed to make tours more engaging, memorable and enjoyable for tourists and the staff for the many places they direct visitor traffic. Guides are responsible for making tourist visits interesting and successful and are really the unsung heroes and heroines who promote the beauty, history and everything else making New York City the most popular destination in the United States.

Gatsby Hotel Amina Rai,  Front Desk Supervisor

  • Amina Rai joined the Gatsby Hotel in March 2020 as a Front Desk Agent and earned her way up to Front Desk Supervisor in just over one year. She is dedicated, driven, a problem solver and has a passion for hospitality going above and beyond her duties. She also performs additional admin and housekeeping functions to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of the hotel and is always ready to assist with staff/guests or hotel needs. Ms. Rai is self-motivated in all areas of hospitality, even assisting with affiliating properties.

Get Your Guide Sarah Lowe,  Senior Destination Manager

  • Sarah manages NYC at GetYourGuide and has been an integral part in promoting the travel of GYG customers to their destinations. She has worked hard to continue to develop partnerships in NYC, specifically with Intrepid, making NYC the top destination in the Americas. She is dedicated to the destination and offers the modern explorer access to incredible experiences.

Guggenheim Emily Johnson,  Senior Manager, Group Sales & Box Office

  • Emily Johnson has been with the Guggenheim for 16 years. She leads the Guggenheim’s group sales and box office and ensures that the museum is presented to a diverse range of audiences that expect a stellar experience. Emily handles her role with great aplomb and was crucial in presenting thoughtful and innovative ways to engage audiences, especially during the pandemic when the museum could not greet visitors in person. Her 16 years of service and dedication to the tourism industry over a longstanding career has provided a significant impact on the Guggenheim’s visitor experience and highlight her work as an industry leader.

Hampton Inn Times Square Central Jen Foti, General Manager

  • Jen has been in the hospitality industry for over 25 years and the last seven in NYC. She led her very reduced team through Covid, never closing the hotels, always with a smile on her face while encouraging staff and hotel guests to stay positive. In June 2022, Jen and her team were presented with an award by Hampton Inn’s Senior VP & Global Brand Head, Shruti G. Buckley, for “Most Improved Overall Service” award presented to 1% of all Hampton hotels. Her inspiration and enthusiasm reflect on the team which in turn impacts her guests.

HeliNY Kathleen Wiig, General Manager & HR Director

  • Kathleen was hired at HeliNY in 1996 and has worked in almost every role, from operations to reservations, she is now the General Manager and HR Director with a team of over 60 employees. She works tirelessly to ensure that the team at HeliNY will be happy at work through her flexibility and the employee benefits program she built. When you have a team that is happy, your passengers will be sure to have a great experience. Her commitment to her team and high standards of customer service ensure all HeliNY passengers have a safe, enjoyable NYC experience.

Holiday Inn Express Times Square South Sharon Gonzalez, Operations Supervisor

  • Sharon is a hard worker, team player and has demonstrated great conscientiousness, maturity, and grace under pressure during some of the toughest times the hospitality industry has seen. She began with the hotel as a houseperson/room attendant. From there, she crossed-trained to the Front Desk Department as a Guest Services Agent, where she showed great care towards her team and guests, and also taking it upon herself to learn all aspects of billing and verbiage. Most recently, Sharon has been promoted to an Operations Supervisor position overseeing the operations, opens housekeeping and the front desk and remains the vital communication between both departments and management. Sharon has exemplified great hospitality throughout her time at this hotel and will only move on to do greater things in the future.

Hotel Edison/Triumph Hotels Rommel Gopez,  Area Director of Guest Relations

  • Rommel is a professional Hotelier with over 20 plus years in the hospitality industry. He always shows an unwavering passion for delivering excellence in customer experience and is a personable leader who directs, motivates, and trains team members in providing exceptional service to guests. He is always eager to take on the new and challenging issues that arise in hospitality management. Rommel displays a broad and diverse experience in the hospitality industry (land and sea). His achievements reflect a strong ability to accomplish varied and diverse tasks in management, organizing, planning and directing services in a hotel. His skills include accommodation, and other services; marketing and promotion of the hotel facilities, establishing and achieving profile and sales targets; handling customers comments and complaints; supervising supplies, maintenance; troubleshooting and addressing problems; recruiting staff, supervising, and training. A true Gem of the industry!

Intrepid Museum Jason Sullivan,  Senior Manager Groups & Tourism

  • Jason has worked tirelessly for the Intrepid Museum for over 13 years. Starting as a Tour Guide in 2009, he transitioned to the Group Sales department in 2010 and has been an integral part of the Museum's position within the tourism landscape ever since. His enthusiasm and love of the Museum and the industry knows no bounds as he has worked closely with virtually all of the hotels and concierges in NY, along with schools, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, camps, performance groups, OTA's, pass programs, other cultural and attractions, and many others helping them find the best fit as possible at the Museum and in NY.

Intrepid Museum Willie Davis,  Manager, Group Programs

  • Willie has worked in the tourism industry for almost 20 years having been at the 9/11 Museum, Ripley's, Hard Rock Cafe, and Madame Tussauds prior to starting at the Intrepid Museum in 2018. A friend to everyone, Willie succeeds each day in his mission to make every visitor's experience at the Museum the best and most enriching as it can possibly be, whether they are here for a field trip, a birthday party, sleeping on board for an overnight, a performance or just a walk around a National Historic Landmark. His enthusiasm is contagious and he makes a positive impact on his co-workers and tens of thousands of visitors each and every year.

Joanne Trattoria Sydney Eason,  Director of Partnerships

  • Sydney has worked with our restaurant for 10 years. Her business acumen, creativity and customer oriented personality has been a valuable asset to our business development.

Liberty Cruises Jerry Nunes,  Host

  • Jerry Nunes is one of the Hosts at Liberty Cruise & Event Cruises. His customer service skills are incredible – he makes every single guest feel special and have a unique experience.

Lotte New York Palace Miles Gomez,  Front Office Manager

  • The Towers at Lotte New York Palace is ranked in the top five hotels in NYC thanks to our incredible team, led by the king of TripAdvisor mentions, Miles Gomez. Miles has a daily goal of not only making our guests feel welcomed and looked after, but also ensuring our guests have a memorable experience at our historic property. Miles joined the Palace in June 2017 as a Guest Experience Ambassador, where his main focus was meeting and greeting guests in the hotel’s lobby, learning about their stay, and looking after VIP guests. Miles was promoted to Assistant Front Office Manager in October 2018 and was again promoted to Front Office Manager in April 2022. He is an incredible asset not only to the Palace family, but to New York City’s tourism industry.

Madame Tussauds New York Tiago Mogadouro,  Head of Marketing

  • Since joining Madame Tussauds New York two and half years ago, Tiago Mogadouro is the key driving force to create an outstanding MT experience for guests from all over the world. He is delivering unique PR activities creating high awareness for example with Peter Luger in 2021, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and others like the recent launch of Anitta, a huge music star from Brazil to drive the LATAM market. He is always putting New York as a destination top of mind and is leading our cooperations with several other tourist partners in the city. To achieve this in such a short period of time after arriving in New York from Portugal is truly showing his dedication to drive together with all other tourism industry partners NYC as a worldwide tourist destination.

Margaritaville Karen Kennedy,  Server

  • There is an employee here whom has been with us since the beginning and has never called out or arrived late. Her name is Karen Kennedy. Karen is an amazing server and an amazing human. She shows up each every day with a positive attitude, she is always willing to jump in where she is needed. The word "no" is not in her vocabulary. Karen lives and breathes our core values each and every day. She definitely creates escapism both for our guest and staff. I cannot say enough about Karen. She is an exceptional employee and she is well deserving of this award.

MTA Marissa Cunningham,  Manager, Promotions

  • Marissa was pivotal to the development, launch and ongoing success of the new MTAaway.com travel inspiration website. MTAaway.com is key to how the MTA communicates with riders and tourists about the fun and interesting places they can go in NYC, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Southern Connecticut via mass transit. It is a key part of our strategy to bring riders back to the system, the region, and to local businesses. Marissa goes above and beyond every single day. She mastered a new CMS, learned google analytics, created graphics- whatever was needed to launch a new and highly valuable website and she’s a joy to work with.

Nederlander Producing Company of America, Inc.  Brian Harasek,  Director of Group Sales

  • Brian will soon be celebrating 18 years at the Nederlander Producing Company of America, Inc. Starting as the Group Sales Assistant, he now serves as the Director of Group Sales. Brian’s dedication to client experience has brought countless groups to Broadway. Brian also serves as the Internship Coordinator, guiding the next generation of the theatrical industry. His work with colleagues has made him a very important part of our organization.

Nederlander Producing Company of America, Inc.  Roxanne Ward,  Director of Client Services

  • Roxanne is the Director of Client Services for Broadway Direct Group Sales. Before making her Broadway Debut, she has spent the past decade working for some of the industry’s most visited attractions. A New York native with affinity for her hometown, a love for travel and adventure – a career in tourism is a dream come true. An advisory board member for multiple industry related organizations, she is committed to sharing the magic and prominence of Broadway whilst highlighting the importance of diversity awareness and inclusion.

NYC & Co. Reagan Stulbaum,  VP Membership & Tourism Ready

  • With more than 20 years of dedication to NYC & Company and the NYC tourism industry, Reagan truly embraces the organization’s mission to maximize travel and tourism opportunities throughout the city. After many years of promoting NYC to the travel trade, she now oversees the NYC & Company Tourism Ready Program which focuses on helping local organizations build their tourism business and supporting the development of community-based tourism.  Reagan also works with the company’s Sustainable Tourism committee and is on the Executive Committee of Tourism Cares. A native New Yorker, she is passionate about developing responsible and sustainable tourism throughout the city.

One World Observatory Michael Miscione,  Tour Ambassador Captain

  • Mike is a great representative of not only One World Observatory, but of New York City as well. His passion for and knowledge of New York history is unparalleled and he enhances the experiences of any guests who are fortunate enough to be on one of his tours or see one of his city pulse shows. Mike served as the Manhattan Borough Historian from 2006-2019, and now brings the vast depth of his knowledge to millions of visitors from round the globe. He was part of our opening team and continues to dazzle and delight guest to his day.

Renaissance Times Square Hotel Helen Yin,  Housekeeping Supervisor

  • Helen is well deserving of this recognition as she has proved herself as a vital structure in the styles department. Helen is selfless and I have watched her over the past few weeks care for the ladies without wavering even after a massive personal loss. She is a star, she truly cares, is always eager to learn and has the treasure of consistency!

Seastreak William Heath,  Captain

  • Since 2011, Captain Bill Heath has served the New York/New Jersey community as one of Seastreak’s most reliable ferry operators. Dedicated to the company and our customers, Bill has captained every type of cruise that Seastreak offers. From regular commuter runs to whale watching trips and fall foliage cruises to hours long journeys to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Bill does more than move passengers from dock to dock. He is also a mentor to everyone on his crew – inspiring the next generation of captains and deckhands in the tourism industry. Though passengers rarely get to see Bill from his seat in the wheelhouse, none of these cruises would be possible without employees like him.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Ricardo da Silva,  Director of Box Office

  • Ricardo Da Silva with his years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, has proven himself to be one of the most essential elements to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt’s global success. As Box Office Director, Ricardo fearlessly leads his team to reach unprecedented levels of customer service not only through his own example but by empowering his team to exceed their own potential on a daily basis. Most importantly Ricardo’s ability to make instant connections with anyone he meets has allowed him to become the bridge that brings all elements of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt together. His positivity, laugh and smile are contagious throughout all of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. For Ricardo the sky is the limit and his incredible work at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is only the beginning. 

The Penn Club of NY John Frazier,  Lobby Supervisor

  • John is an integral part of our team and goes above and beyond our expectations to support our staff. If you walk into our Lobby you will recognize John with a different hat whether a Ben Franklin hat for our Burger nights or a sombrero for our Tequila Taco Tuesdays. John always volunteers and assists, assumes various roles and is a vital member of our organization.

Tiqets Inc.  Andrea Pinckney,  Product Success Manager

  • Andrea has been with Tiqets for three years. She has excellent client communication skills and is always willing to go the distance – all while maintaining a positive disposition. Andrea is a problem solver and takes on the initiative of handling customer service situations and seeing them through. She is also a team player who shares constructive feedback and suggestions for improving the experience for the customer/client. She is an indispensable member of the U.S. team.

TopView Sightseeing Andrea Womack, Service Manager

  • Andrea makes sure all guests on our cruises feel like first class guests. Through ensuring top levels of service and a million dollar smile, as well as an endless knowledge of New York City, she truly makes an impact on any guest she touches! She is a true asset to our company.

 

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