Hospitality Star Award Winners
Destination Cleveland recognizes the individuals below that have gone above and beyond customer service to offer true hospitality to Cleveland visitors. If you would like to nominate a member of Cleveland's hospitality community, please complete the nomination form here.
Please join Destination Cleveland in congratulating its Hospitality Star winners and finalists for offering true hospitality to Cleveland visitors.
2016 Hospitality Star Winner
Jay Casey, Music Box Supper Club
Jay Casey is not just a legendary Cleveland bartender, he is truly a legendary Clevelander. Sure, he’ll pour you a beer, but lend him your ear and you’re in for much more than just a tasty beverage. Mention The Clash or The Replacements, and he’ll paint a picture of being front row at the Nautica Pavilion in 1987. He’ll offer a piece of golden Cleveland history and tell tales of the glory days of The Flats, now in its renaissance. It’s in his nature to be a gracious host to anyone and everyone he meets, as evidenced by one example where he offered to share his Cleveland love and knowledge by giving a guest a personalized tour of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Radiating from behind the Supper Club bar, Jay shines a unique love and light on not just the Music Box or the Flats, but the entire city of Cleveland.
2015 Hospitality Star Winner
Patrick Lewis, Dollar/Thrifty Car Rental
Late one night, Patrick Lewis was leaving work on the RTA Red Line when he befriended a couple of visitors on the train. Given the late hour, the visitors were somewhat uncomfortable being in a new city, but Patrick made them feel at ease, regaling them with stories about Cleveland, and highlighting must-see attractions and restaurants. Upon arriving Downtown, Patrick went the extra mile and walked them to within eyesight of their hotel. Because of Patrick’s enthusiasm and hospitality, two new visitors were inspired to explore and experience Cleveland during their stay.
2015 Hospitality Star Finalists
Mary Wager, A Touch of Class Limo
Natividad Uehara, Cleveland Public Theater
Mary Spuzzillo, Holiday Inn Express
2014 Hospitality Star Winner
Joseph Fredrickson, Society Lounge
Joseph has set the bar high going above and beyond for guests. He is known for accommodating those who have requested specialty items including batteries, espresso and Red Bull to ensure the best experience possible for those visiting Cleveland and Society Lounge. He shows his hometown pride by suggesting other great Cleveland locations for visitors to check out while in town and has even introduced out-of-town guests to locals to create for them a friendly and authentic experience. He is known throughout the hospitality community for taking exceptional pride in sharing his craft and his love for his city with others.
2013 Hospitality Star Winners
Tracy Johnson, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
One day, a visitor was riding the trolley from her hotel to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. As she walked into the museum, she realized that she accidentally left her bag, which contained her money, medications, and important documents, on the trolley. Tracy Johnson hailed another trolley and asked the driver to offer assistance in retrieving the bag. He then continued to stay with the visitor until her bag was returned. In recalling the experience, the visitor noted, "I wish I could repay him for what he did for me. He restored my faith in humanity."
Kim Valentine, Blue Point Grille
During the Senior Games, Kim Valentine served a protein-packed meal to a 102-year-old guest in preparation of his shot put competition the following day. Kim was inspired by the visitor's age, his choice to participate in the shot put event and his views on how to live life to its fullest. She was so moved by their interaction that she attended the shot put event the following day with freshly baked cookies in-hand to cheer him on. The visitor won the Senior Games gold medal in his event and visited Kim at Blue Point Grille every day for the remainder of his stay. He continues to rave about the exceptional hospitality in Cleveland.