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Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau Announces 2018 Stars of the Industry Annual Tourism Award Winners

By published October 12, 2018

Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces 2018 Stars of the Industry & Annual Tourism Award Winners


The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau (CSCVB), the regional destination management organization for Chicago’s 63 south and southwest suburbs, recognized its members, municipalities and organizations for their outstanding service in the hospitality and tourism industry during Fiscal Year 2018.


The awards were presented at the CSCVB’s Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at the Tinley Park Convention Center. CVB President / CEO Jim Garrett focused on the growth of sports tourism in the region. “Sports tourism is pure economic development and big business infusing the region with new dollars and generating additional tax revenues,” said Jim Garrett.

Guest speaker, State Representative Tim Butler and Bicentennial Co-Chair spoke about the celebration of the rich history of Illinois; the people, places, events, and contributions that are Illinois #BornBuiltGrown.

The annual Stars of the Industry Awards honor the work of exceptional regional employees.


2018 Administrative Employee of the Year: Emily Balis, Tinley Park Convention Center

2018 Food & Beverage Employee of the Year: Rose Andrade, Comfort Suites – Lansing

2018 Guest Service Employee of the Year: Kay Bentley, DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago – Alsip

2018 Housekeeping Employee of the Year: Elia Zavala, Hilton Chicago – Oak Lawn & Conference Center

2018 Maintenance Employee of the Year: Luis Padilla, Holiday Inn Hotel & Tinley Park Convention Center

2018 Manager of the Year: Shawnice Dean, Holiday Inn Hotel & Tinley Park Convention Center


The Chicago Southland CVB also presented their annual awards highlighting the contributions of its members and partners to the tourism and hospitality industry in the Chicago Southland.


Award of Merit: Southland Center, A Ho-Chunk National Enterprise has invested in improvements, resulting in increased capacity to host sporting events. We now have a facility that is home to the largest number of indoor basketball courts under one roof in Illinois. With the partnership between the Chicago Southland CVB and the Indoor Sports Management team, we’ve hosted tournaments and events in soccer, baseball, basketball, cornhole, taekwondo and grappling over the years.

Award of Merit: Ed Paesel (retired Executive Director, SSMMA) gave the Chicago Southland a voice on major decisions in the Chicagoland Area. He was involved in the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association since it was formed in 1978. Formalization of this organization paved the way for millions of dollars in available grants for projects from state and federal agencies to the group’s 44 Chicago Southland municipalities.


Award of Merit: Marc Gordon, IL Hotel & Lodging Association President/CEO was honored for extraordinary service and partnership in support of the Chicago Southland CVB and the Illinois Tourism industry. Marc has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 44 years and has served as the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association President/CEO since 1997.


Linda Morgan Award for Volunteerism: Ted Golat of Seecago Tours has been a constant asset in hosting Chicago Southland motorcoach tours around the region and providing a wealth of knowledge to guests. He also takes the opportunity to promote the Chicago Southland CVB and our efforts for the region. He’s always willing to participate in familiarization tours. He is a valuable source of information on the region and its history.


Patricia Chase Magon Municipal Leadership Award: Village of Bridgeview now home of a multi-use, major league soccer stadium for the Chicago Southland was a vision that became a reality over 13 years ago for Mayor Steve Landek. Drawing large crowds of visitors every year, attracting new festivals, concerts and other events and driving future expansion of hotel development, new restaurants, retail outlets, attractions and other entertainment options makes this facility a huge asset to the Chicago Southland. Toyota Park has hosted major events, including the Major League Soccer All Star Weekend, International Rugby Weekend and the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary and has expanded the facility with the addition of the Sports Dome.


Senator Aldo DeAngelis Leadership Award: Senator Michael Hastings has served in the Illinois Senate in a district covering much of the Chicago Southland - in fact, he represents 17 municipalities within the CVB’s territory. He has supported tourism funding and stood behind legislative issues important to the Chicago Southland. He understands the obstacles and challenges facing the tourism industry and has backed endeavors such as the Little League relocation bid to Matteson and the goal of implementing tourism signage on the tollway. As a respected ambassador for the Chicago Southland, he has our guides displayed and supports tourism product development. His service to the Chicago Southland and state of Illinois follows his military service to our country as a U.S. Army veteran.


Member of the Year: Lotton Art Glass Galley & Studios, has been a staple in arts & culture in the Chicago Southland for more than three decades. As a one-of-a-kind attraction, it has drawn in individuals and groups to get a first-hand look at the amazing art of glass blowing. Glass shapes crafted here in the Chicago Southland have made their way to the Smithsonian, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the Art Institute of Chicago. This member is always willing to participate in familiarization tours as well as accommodate tour buses and groups to the region.


The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination management and marketing organization for Chicago’s 63 south and southwest suburbs. The Chicago Southland CVB markets the Chicago Southland region as a destination for meetings and conventions, group tour, sports events and leisure. For more information, go to VisitChicagoSouthland.com

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Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau

Loren Petrakis-Mueller - Communications Manager -- 2304 173rd Street   Lansing, IL 60438

Phone: 708-895-8200 Fax: 708-895-8288 Toll-free: 888-895-8233

[email protected]     VisitChicagoSouthland.com


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