ALSIP, Ill. (October 9, 2023) – Rosa Garcia, Housekeeping Supervisor at the Sleep Inn in Lansing, won the Administrative Employee of the Year award during the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau Annual Meeting and Award Luncheon on October 4 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip. The event brought the region “Together Again” to celebrate travel and tourism.
The event was the first time in four years the CSCVB held its annual meeting due to COVID-19 cancellations.
“I’m absolutely thrilled we were finally able to bring everyone ‘Together Again’ celebrating the significant progress the travel and tourism industry in the Southland has made since COVID-19,” said Jim Garret, President/CEO of Chicago Southland CVB, in a press release.
Deputy Director for the Illinois Office of Tourism Daniel Thomas was the keynote speaker at the event. He shared the newly revised Illinois destination commercials featuring former Dolton resident and actress Jane Lynch.
The event also featured a video presentation from Governor J.B. Pritzker, who shared his excitement for the upcoming Wind Creek Chicago Southland Casino as a regional asset. The Wind Creek Chicago Southland Casino & Hotel coming to East Hazel Crest and Homewood aims to increase tourism and travel in Chicago’s Southland.
The new destination is set to bring in an estimated 800 jobs to the south suburban region.
This year’s award presentation focused on hotel hospitality workers and outstanding community/business contributions to the Chicago Southland travel and tourism industry.
The awards were split into two categories: Stars of the Industry and Chicago Southland Annual Tourism Awards.
Rosa Garcia was among the winners in the “Stars of the Industry” category. She won the Administrative Employee of the Year award for her outstanding performance as the Housekeeping Supervisor at the Sleep Inn in Lansing.
Garcia has worked at the hotel for over 15 years but has spent the last few years as the hotel’s housekeeping supervisor.
“This nominee has been described as the ultimate team player, who has taken it upon herself to wear any hat that’s been needed to not just make every single guest’s experience perfect, but to alleviate the workload stress other staffers have felt,” said Mary Patchin, Vice President of Chicago Southland CVB.
Garcia was “very happy” to be recognized for her hard work. She advised others to “never give up” on their goals and to “be very patient” with themselves.
Also awarded was Thornton Distilling Company in Thornton. Founder Andrew Howell accepted the award and told The Lansing Journal the last few years since the business started in 2019 have been “challenging” in the midst of a pandemic.
Howell said Thornton Distilling Company will continue to be a steward of its historic building at 400 E Margaret Street.
“We want to keep honoring the past,” he said.
2023 Stars of the Industry Award winners
The full list of awards is included below:
- Administrative Employee of the Year:
Rosa Garcia, Housekeeping Supervisor at the Sleep Inn in Lansing
- Food & Beverage Employee of the Year:
Pablo Navarrete, Banquet Set-Up/ Server at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip
- Guest Services Employee of the Year:
Stephanie Mateja, Catering & Sales Manager at Georgios Banquet, Quality Inn & Suites
- Housekeeping Employee of the Year:
Izahi Abarca, Housekeeping Supervisor at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Bridgeview
- Maintenance Employee of the Year:
Mark Zaret, Maintenance & Manager on Duty at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip
- Manager of the Year:
Samanta Sokolovic, Senior Sales Manager at the Midway Hotels, Weglarz Hotel Collection in Bedford Park
2023 Chicago Southland Annual Tourism Award Winners
- Award of Merit:
Thornton Distilling Co., Thornton
- Spirit of Hospitality:
Chuck Sabey, recently retired Cultural Arts Supervisor for the Village of Park Forest & Freedom Hall
- Municipal Leader of the Year:
Village of Bedford Park
- Senator Aldo DeAngelis Leadership Award:
Village of East Hazel Crest
Village of Homewood
- Member of the Year:
Windy City ThunderBolts, Crestwood
For more information on the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, and to learn more about tourism in the Chicago Southland, visit www.visitchicagosouthland.com.