Hospitality Convention Honors Professionals in Restaurants, Hotels


SEATTLE, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitality professionals from across the state were honored at the Washington Hospitality Convention Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington.

Tyler Winters, general manager of Farelli's Pizza in Lacey, WA, won for general manager of the year for his achievements in caring for his community as a whole. He creates an environment where the guests and the employees are deeply connected.

"An example was when a recent regular finally lost his battle with cancer, the entire staff of the store attended the funeral ceremony and he called the other Farrelli's stores for support to cover all of those shifts for the day," said Clayton Krueger, director of marketing and communications for Farelli's Pizza in Winters' nomination.

Winters has been known to send pizzas to local fire stations and to the teachers of Tumwater during their recent strike.

"Our industry connects communities like no other," said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. "Hospitality is at the center of community development and these awards honor the rock stars in Washington who are our best role models. These businesses exemplify how we are woven into the fabric of the daily lives of our guests and team members and show that working together, we help our communities succeed."

Executive Chef Derek Simcik of Thomson Seattle took home the Innovation Award for his efforts in lifting up his kitchen staff to highlight their talents during events he calls, "Up and Coming."

"One of the chefs on his team gets to create a menu and be in the spotlight for the evening with our Executive Chef Derek acting at the Sous Chef for the night," said Leah Levar, area director of people services at Thompson Hotels in Simcik's nomination. "We think this is a brilliant way to showcase the talent in the kitchen and get them used to being in the spotlight - such a humble move."

Nominations for the awards were submitted by supervisors, HR directors and peers.

The 2018 categories and winners are:

  • Lodging
    • Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year: Amanda Landers, Pan Pacific Hotel, Seattle
    • Innovation Award: Derek Simcik, Thompson Seattle
    • Paving the Way Award: Kim Straight, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Sumner
    • Employee of the Year: Meg Spiegelberg, Embassy Suites Pioneer Square, Seattle
    • General Manager of the Year: Scott Snofsky, Hilton Garden Inn, Bellevue
  • Restaurant
    • Employee of the Year: DelRae Evans-McLain, Wild Ginger, Seattle
    • General Manager of the Year: Tyler Winters, Farrelli's Pizza, Lacey

About the Washington Hospitality Association

The Washington Hospitality Association is a member-based organization that works at the state and local levels to find proactive solutions to the challenging issues facing the industry and its workforce. It provides its members with programs, services and the information they need to deliver great local experiences, ensure the success of their employees and help their communities thrive. The Washington Hospitality Association became the state's second-largest trade association in 2016 when the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association joined forces in a combined association.

MEDIA CONTACT: Morgan Huether, Local Communications Manager, 360-956-7279 ext. 135,

SOURCE Washington Hospitality Association

Posted In: Press ReleasesAwardsSmall Business Servicestrade shows