Holiday Party & Awards Ceremony Holiday Party & Awards Ceremony

Thursday, January 12, 2017 Sheraton Bloomington Hotel

Transcript of Holiday Party & Awards Ceremony Holiday Party & Awards Ceremony

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Holiday Party &Awards Ceremony

Thursday, January 12, 2017Sheraton Bloomington Hotel

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Thank You to our Sponsors




Strategic PartnersThe Allied members listed below have made significant year-long financial

commitments to the Minnesota Lodging Association. We thank them for their support.

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2016 HonoreesHead of the House Award:

Suzanne Sukalski

Heart of the House Award: Jim Jarzyna

Rising Star Award:Matthew Galaviz Reed

Small Property of the Year:University Inn

Large Property of the Year:BEST WESTERN PREMIER Nicollet Inn

Allied Vendor of the Year: Furniture Industries, Inc.

General Manager of the Year: Sue Jung

Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame:Mark Dunn

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Head of the House Award

Suzanne SukalskiSuzanne began her job as Breakfast Hostess at the Hamp-ton Inn in Fairmont in 2012 and has enjoyed every day of work since. She came into the role after learning about the position in her Special Education Career Exploration class, which give students the ability to observe jobs at various businesses in the city of Fairmont. After observing various jobs in hotels and restaurants, Suzanne began to envision herself having a career in the hospitality industry and knew it was something she wanted to pursue after graduation.

Her graduation picture and plans for the future were posted in the Fairmont news-paper and caught the eye of Jason Subbert, the General Manager of the Hampton Inn Fairmont’s management company, TPI Hospitality. At Jason’s behest, Suzanne received an application to apply to the hotel through school and, after an excep-tional interview, was offered the position only a few months after graduation!

Suzanne has really come into her own at her job. Working at the hotel has helped her realize that being part of the Hampton Inn Fairmont team means being a part of something that is bigger than herself. The teamwork of the hotel staff shows that no one’s job is small or insignificant; it takes everyone building off of one another to make the Hampton Inn Fairmont a successful business.

Suzanne tries every day to give each guest a special experience. Whether it’s wear-ing colorful aprons that she sewed herself, or creating greeting cards to distribute to guests with candy, she is always looking for ways to brighten her guests’ day and help them feel as comfortable as possible.

Suzanne hopes to continue her job at the Hampton Inn Fairmont for as long as she can and she is incredibly grateful for her co-workers and the confidence they have helped instill in her over the last four years.

This award is new this year

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Heart of the House Award

Jim JarzynaJim Jarzyna has worked in various positions at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest for 27 years. After earning a degree in Landscape and Horticulture at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, he began working for the hotel’s Maintenance Department in 1988. Jim’s responsibilities included various landscaping projects in the summer and snow removal in the winter. However, a few years later the hotel hired a private landscaping company to maintain the grounds. Not wanting to leave the property that he had come to love working for, Jim transferred into the Engineering Department and has been there ever since.

Being in the Engineering Department has taught Jim to wear many hats. Not only does he have tasks to take care of in the custodial and housekeeping departments, but he also ensures the landscaping and snow removal is up to par with the hotel’s standards. He is also always available for short-notice maintenance issues such as switching out 49 lightbulbs in the ballroom right before a wedding was to start!

Jim takes pride in his work at the property and it shows. He has been awarded Employee of the Month six times throughout his tenure and is also part of the exclusive Marriott Quarter Century Membership club for his 25+ years of service. What’s most important to Jim, however, is making sure the hotel guests are having an excellent and memorable stay.

Jim has worked at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest for almost three decades; he loves being part of the team and doesn’t see himself going anywhere else. He likes to take the future one day at a time, but knows he will stay in the hotel industry for a while. He finds himself learning new things every day at his job and finds great joy in helping the guests have an excellent stay.

This award is new this year

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Rising Star Award

Matthew Galaviz ReedMatthew didn’t initially intend on having a career in the hospitality industry; he has an Associate’s degree in Computer Networking and Design from the Computer Learning Center and later earned a certificate in Interior Design from Penn Foster College. He moved to Minneapolis in 2012 in hopes of beginning a career with one of the many corporate headquarters housed in the Cities.

However, he needed a job immediately, so he took a Front Desk Agent position at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest. He intended to take it only as a short-term job; but after just a few weeks there, his view began to evolve. Matthew realized that the hospitality industry isn’t about exchanging pleasantries with guests in exchange for a paycheck; he began to understand that it is inviting someone into your home and making it theirs for the duration of their stay.

Matthew knew this was no longer just a job for him; this is where he was meant to be and where he would develop his career. With incredible drive and unbridled passion, Matthew advanced quickly at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest from Front Desk Agent to Night Audit to Food and Beverage Operations Lead to Rooms Controller to Marketing and Events Coordinator and then to Sales Manager all in less than five years! And he hasn’t stopped; in December, Matthew accepted a promotion to Complex Marketing Manager at W Minneapolis – The Foshay and Le Meridien Chambers.

Matthew doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon either. He continues to carve out the path he set for himself and push his boundaries with hopes of becoming a General Manager within five years.

This award is new this year

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Small Property of the Year

University InnThe University Inn is one of the most in-demand hotels near the University of Minnesota campus. According to Trip Advisor, it is currently the 11th best hotel in Minneapolis, but it has fought hard over the years to earn that position. As the name suggests, the University Inn has always been associated with the University of Minnesota. Built in 1959 as the Gopher Campus Motor Lodge, it gained notoriety throughout the years for the fiberglass Goldy Gopher statue that was displayed outside the main entrance. The hotel was a mainstay for visiting professors, students and their families throughout the decades, but it was forced to close in 1999.

The hotel remained empty for almost 10 years until it was purchased in 2008 and underwent a major renovation. The owners decided to market the hotel as an “extended-stay only” property and so while it had a great new aesthetic, it was still limited in its popularity. In 2013, it was purchased by its current owners, with Joe McCurdy as the new General Manager, and became the University Inn that it is today.

The 45-room hotel now features overnight rooms and extended-stay rooms with kitchenettes to accommodate all guests. While it is primarily used as a place to call home for those who are visiting campus, the property draws a crowd of all ages as a boutique hotel with free parking and easy access to downtown Minneapolis and its wide array of fine dining. The hotel also attracts a varied crowd due to its personalized guest service and great advice on neighborhood attractions such as the TCF Stadium and Varsity Theatre. As a nod to its roots as well as its ongoing association with the University of Minnesota, the lobby now showcases the original fiberglass Goldy Gopher statue.

Past Recipients:BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Lodge on

Lake Detroit (2015) Czech Inn, Hayward (2014)South Pier Inn, Duluth (2013)Afton House Inn, Afton (2012)Water Street Inn, Stillwater (2011)Loken’s Sawmill Inn & Suites,

Houston (2010)AmericInn Lodge & Suites,

North Branch (2009)Waller House Inn, Little Falls (2008)AmericInn, Mt. Iron (2007)AmericInn, Madelia (2006)

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Large Property of the YearBEST WESTERN PREMIER Nicollet InnThe BEST WESTERN PREMIER Nicollet Inn in Burnsville sets a high standard for other hotels in the area. As part of Best Western Hotel and Resorts, the biggest hotel family in the world, management understands its clients are looking for a hotel full of perks.

Since its renovation in 2011, the 131-room hotel has cultivated an upscale aesthetic and excellent customer service that translates into high listings on numerous tourism websites. The BEST WESTERN PREMIER Nicollet Inn is currently the fifth highest rated hotel out of 240 hotels in the metro area and the eleventh highest rated hotel in Minnesota by Trip Advisor.

The property’s high ratings are due to knowing what guests are looking for in a hotel. Its location is perfect for those arriving to the Cities looking to shop at the Mall of America or spend the day at Valleyfair or the Renaissance Festival. The hotel also tempts guests to return after a day of exploring attractions with its exclusive executive level, indoor pool and hot tub and award-winning restaurant.

Morgan’s Farm to Table Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, first opened in 2010, but the restaurant was re-branded with a farm-to-table focus in 2014. The rebranding was a success and the restaurant collected a bevy of awards. Morgan’s Restaurant received Bite of Burnsville’s 2015 and 2016 People’s Choice Award and its 2015 Chef’s Choice Award; it also earned the Favorite Food Item at the 2015 and 2016 Taste of Lakeville.

The owner of the hotel, Jamie Dahlen, currently sits on the Minnesota Lodging Association’s board and has been an active member since 2006. Along with involvement in the MLA, the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Nicollet Inn is also a member of Experience Burnsville CVB, Burnsville Chamber of Commerce and Best Western Minnesota Co-op.

Past Recipients:The Marquette Hotel (2015)Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Red

Wing (2014)BEST WESTERN PLUS White Bear

Country Inn, White Bear Lake (2013)The Westin Edina Galleria, Edina (2012)

Holiday Inn, New Ulm (2011)Staybridge Suites, Bloomington (2010)Hilton Minneapolis, Minneapolis 2009)The Depot, Minneapolis (2008)Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, Tofte (2007)Country Inn & Suites, Albert Lea (2006)

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Allied Vendor of the Year

Furniture Industries, Inc.Furniture Industries, Inc.’s business model is simple: “Do right by our clients and they’ll choose us again and again.” That’s exactly why the company is thriving, with most of the company’s business stemming from repeat customers or new clients who have been referred to the company through word-of-mouth.

Furniture Industries, Inc. is managed by Marc Gensler. It was founded in 1952 by Marc’s grandfather as a reupholstery business. Through the decades, Furniture Industries, Inc. expanded into a furniture manufacturing before evolving into a high-quality furniture, fixtures and equipment provider in the 1970s. Marc joined the company eight years ago and runs it alongside his father and uncle today.

Furniture Industries, Inc. thrived in the new market thanks to their experience in manufacturing and understanding their customers’ needs. The furniture company knows that technology is a large part of how competitive they are in the market. From utilizing the newest web-based design tools to handling shipping logistics from suppliers all over the world, by keeping up with the changing times and anticipating technological advances in the future, they keep themselves at the top of their market. Today, the company is an approved vendor with IHG, Hilton and Choice hotels. It continues to implement each company’s brand identity into their newest designs.

What also sets Furniture Industries, Inc. apart is the staff’s dedication to customer service. The interior designer for the client is also the project manager, so they are the go-to person from start to finish. The interior designer also makes frequent site visits to the client’s building to ensure the project installation is successful and timely. This level of access to the business is hard to find in today’s world. Furniture Industries, Inc.’s balance of embracing technology while also keeping the personal touch is how they attract and retain their clients.

Past Recipients:A&M Business Interior Services (2015)Clear Sight & Sound (2014)Procter & Gamble Professional (2013)AAA (2012)IDeaS Revenue Solutions (2011)Yost & Baill, LLC (2010)

Stahl Construction (2009)Inn Fashion (2008)DesignWise (2007)USA Today (2006)Superior McGarvey (2005)

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General Manager of the Year

Sue JungSue Jung knew she wanted to always work in hospitality ever since her first job as a 16-year-old waitress at The Traveler’s Inn Restaurant in her hometown of Alexandria. She finds immense joy in working with people every day and believes the greatest reward is helping each guest feel right at home at her hotel.

While Sue is currently General Manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites in Alexandria (which she opened back in 2008), she has also been General Manager at The Holiday Inn Anoka, The Country Inn & Suites in Coon Rapids and Chanhassen and the Regency Plaza Minneapolis. She achieved the General Manager positions after working her way up as a Dining Room Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Director of Sales and Catering, while also helping other hotels open in the meantime! One of the reasons Sue has been so successful in the industry is due to her managerial philosophy. She strives to be a leader through motivation and strength and believes employee relationships are built on trust and respect.

Sue’s career has allowed her to see different trends in the industry take shape and understand how they have affected the industry. Even with technology changing the way industry members interact with guests, there are still small things one can do to personalize everyone’s stay. At Sue’s hotel, staff still press the pillowcases every day to ensure they are in pristine condition for each new guest…and it is noticed! Sue has received countless compliments from the guests over the years about the pillowcases alone.

Sue is on the board of directors for the Minnesota Lodging Association and the Alexandria Lakes Chamber. She is President of the Board for Explore Alexandria and is active with several other organizations as well.

Past Recipients:Perry Sloneker - Best Western Chelsea Inn

& Suites, Monticello (2015)John Luke - Hilton Minneapolis,

Minneapolis (2014)Jason Subbert - Torgerson Properties

Hotels, Fairmont (2013)Mark Dunn - Treasure Island Resort

& Casino, Red Wing (2012)Nancy Vaske - AmericInn Lodge

& Suites, Worthington (2011)Robert Rivers - Millennium Hotel,

Minneapolis (2010)

David Brott - Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomington (2009)

Bill Foussard - White Bear Country Inn, White Bear Lake (2008)

Mike Woitas - Country Inn & Suites, Albert Lea (2007)

Julie Fuller - Hampton Inn, Shoreview (2006)

Jim Waldvogel - Crowne Plaza Northstar Minneapolis Hotel, Minneapolis (2005)

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Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame

Mark DunnMark Dunn has always taken pleasure in helping people. A native of Bedford, Indiana, he knew helping others was something he wanted to do with his career, so he enrolled in Hanover College and earned a B.A. in Social Work.

Mark’s jobs have always related to the hospitality industry. He put himself through college by washing dishes and, shortly after graduating college, he took a job as a night audit at the French Lick Springs Resort in French Lick, Indiana. Mark had plans to move out to California to get his Masters in Social Work after a summer at the resort, but he had a change of heart after numerous discussions with the Vice President of the resort, John Nolan. John told Mark that if he wanted to create a career and a life that challenged him every day, then he would find no better than the hospitality industry. Mark realized he was up for the challenge, and so he began carving out his illustrious career in the hospitality industry.

Mark spent five years at French Lick Springs Resort where he worked his way up from Office Manager to Room Service Manager to Director of Beverages. After becoming familiar with all the roles of hospitality management, Mark moved on to other projects, jumping on board when they needed someone to get the job done. In 2008, when Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch needed a manager, they recruited Mark. He has been there ever since as the Director of Hospitality, overseeing the opening of the hotel, banquet space, bowling alley and new bar & restaurant.

Mark has also continued to advance his career through certifications. He has earned certificates in Personnel and Project Management and is also a certified Hotel Administrator. He is also active with the Minnesota Lodging Association, serving as President in 2016. He received MLA’s Hotelier of the Year award in 2012. Outside of his work, Mark is also active in the American Diabetes Association.

While Mark celebrates his career of opening and operating over 10 hotels, 30 restaurants and 24 bars/lounges, what he cherishes the most is the friends he has made in the business. He hopes the legacy he leaves behind is one of building excellent teams, working hard and always believing in people.

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1959 Sloan Place, Suite 120 | St. Paul, MN 55117 (651) 778-2400 |

Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame Past Inductees:

Sunny Bhakta (2015)Bonnie Carlson - Bloomington

Convention & Visitors Bureau (2014)Bill Foussard - BEST WESTERN PLUS

White Bear Country Inn (2013)Mitch Peterson - Torgerson Properties

(2012)Jon Kennedy - GrandStay Hospitality

(2011)William Morrissey - Morrissey

Hospitality Companies, Inc. (2010)Doug Anderson - DDD Motel

Corporation, Mankato (2009)Denny Breamer - Minnesota Lodging

Association, Minnesota Association of Innkeepers, Hospitality Minnesota (2008)

Tom Chase - Minneapolis Marriott City Center (2007)

John Holland - Best Western Holland House & Suites (2007)

Kirby Payne - HVS/American Hospitality Management Company (2007)

Candice Sweeney - American Express Co. (2007)

Henry Fisher - The Registry Hotel (2006)Al Brodie - Minnesota Motel Association

(2006) Harvey Hollenback - Kahler

Corporation (2005)Earl Jorgenson - Kahler Corporation

(2005)John Kahler - Kahler Corporation (2005) Roy Watson - Kahler Corporation (2005)

Thank You to Events CommitteeDoug Karle, LHR Hospitality (Chair)

Forogh Amini, BEST WESTERN PLUS Coon Rapids Scott Clemente, SERVPRO Restoration

Jamie Dahlen, BEST WESTERN PREMIER Nicollet Inn Michell Elenbaas, Quality Resource Group

Beth Hammer, Minneapolis Marriott City CenterDave Janssen, DesignWise, Inc.

Marianna Khauv, BEST WESTERN Chelsea Inn & SuitesBrittany Koth, ADP

Karen Lamb, Heartland Payment SystemsSue Raiche, A&M Business Interior Services Dave Schlange, JB Wireless, Inc. (Konecta)