Maryland Hotel Lodging Association Honors 2018 Stars of the Industry

Stars of the Industry Awards

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 13, 2018): A record 350 lodging industry professionals gathered on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center to honor exemplary employees and unique programs in the hospitality industry, at the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association (MHLA) 29th Annual Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon.

“Our industry is all about people – those on the front lines helping guests, serving food and beverages, coordinating meetings and events, and those behind the scenes fixing issues within the hotel, cleaning rooms and everything in between. The Stars of the Industry Awards luncheon gives us a chance to take a day and really thank them for all of their hard work,” said Amy Rohrer, president & CEO of the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association. “These nominees represent the best of the best and are the face of hospitality in Maryland. Their dedication is what makes our lodging industry so incredible.”

Winners were announced in thirteen different categories, 4 property awards, 8 employee awards – Division 1 for properties with 250 rooms or less and Division 2 for properties with more than 250 rooms – and Hotelier of the Year, a special award given this year to Michael Henningsen of Plamondon Hospitality Partners for his extraordinary contributions to the industry. Having spent 35 years working in the lodging industry and dedicating tireless hours to both MHLA and the industry as a whole, Henningsen was chosen to be recognized with this award by his peers on the MHLA Board of Directors.

“The annual Stars of the Industry awards is a great opportunity to see our industry come together and honor all those who are doing fantastic work on a daily basis,” said James LoBosco, MHLA Immediate Past Chair. “It is a reminder of how impactful hospitality is in Maryland, and how it affects people from around the globe that come to stay with us.”

The Maryland Hotel Lodging Industry would like to congratulate all of the Stars of the Industry nominees and award winners.  Click here to view the slideshow with all of this year’s nominees. 

This year’s recipients of the Stars of the Industry Awards are:

Community Service

Honors a hotel that gets involved with their local communities and generates good will that extends far beyond their own doors.

  • Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Good Earthkeeping

Recognizes a hotel that has adopted environmentally friendly practices that lessen their carbon footprint, while maintaining quality service and exceeding guest expectations.

  • MGM National Harbor

Guest Relations

Recognizes a hotel with programs that create goodwill among guests and effectively meets their needs.

  • Hilton Garden Inn Frederick


Awarded to a hotel that clearly demonstrates a culture of inclusion that positively impacts employees, guests and their communities.

  • College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Stevan Porter Emerging Leader of the Year

Awards to an exemplary employee, under age 30, who has demonstrated superior professional dedication, leadership, and a fresh perspective to their job.

  • Division 1: Victor Quiroa, College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
  • Division 2: Jason Shorter Jr., Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina

Administrative Employee of the Year

Recognizes non-management employees in every department of the hotel.  The nominees go above and beyond normal job responsibilities and demonstrate tremendous professionalism. 

  • Division 1: Elizabeth Forney, Courtyard & Residence Inn by Marriott – Aberdeen
  • Division 2: Karina Faust, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore

Food & Beverage Employee of the Year

Recognizes exceptional performance by a Food & Beverage Employee.

  • Division 1: Matthew Gatewood, Live! Lofts Hotel/ Live! Casino & Hotel
  • Division 2: Wanda Deramus, Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel

Guest Services Employee of the Year

Recognizes exceptional performance by a Guest Services Employee.

  • Division 1: Jonathan Knox, Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel
  • Division 2: Lourdes Lopez, Holiday Inn Gaithersburg

Room Keeper of the Year

Recognizes exceptional performance by a Room Keeper.

  • Division 1: Yee-Mon Latt, Hilton Garden Inn Frederick
  • Division 2: Joaquin Cisneros, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Support Department Employee of the Year

Recognizes exceptional performance by a Support Department Employee.

  • Divison 1: Rodney Mayers, Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel
  • Division 2: Idriss Kargbo, The Hotel at the University of Maryland

Manger of the Year

Recognizes exceptional performance by an employee in a supervisory role.

  • Division 1: Charles McKnew, DoubleTree by Hilton Annapolis Hotel
  • Division 2: Jean-Yves Annibal, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

General Manager of the Year (tie)

Honors a hotelier who has demonstrated superior professionalism in operating a Maryland Hotel Lodging Association member property.

  • Division 1: Jason Curtis, Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown
  • Division 1: George Cronk, Loews Annapolis Hotel

Hotelier of the Year

Honors a person that has made significant contributions to Maryland’s lodging and tourism industry.

  • Michael Henningsen, Plamondon Hospitality Partners



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