MHLA Stars of the Industry Awards


***Please scroll down to locate and download the Employee Nomination form and the Property Nomination form. Online forms are also available and can be found below.***



When is the deadline to nominate? December 5th, 2019 at 5PM

Who may enter? Any MHLA lodging member in good standing

What does it cost to enter? MHLA members in good standing may enter for free. There is a separate fee and registration required to attend the Awards Luncheon on JANUARY 9, 2020.

How many entries may I submit? Each property may submit ONE entry for EACH award category. In fact, we encourage you to submit an entry into each category, as this is a terrific and economical way to reward key performers and star initiatives. This awards program features 9 employee awards and 3 property award categories.

Do smaller properties compete with large properties for awards? Entries are judged according to “Division”. Division 1 is for 250 rooms or less and Division 2 is for 251 rooms or more. In certain categories, a third division for select service may be awarded based on the judges’ discretion. Therefore, this program is perfect for properties ranging from large full service to small limited service.

What is the best way to prepare an entry? If possible, you should assign a key staff person (or team) to coordinate the nomination process for your property. Most properties involve their HR staff and their sales/marketing team. Consider involving department heads in the process so that you can obtain nomination for each award category. Always include metrics when possible as well as comments from supervisors, associates and guests.

What are the award categories? See below for complete descriptions of each awards category.

Are the winners notified prior to the Awards luncheon? NO. To add to the excitement, the names of the winners are revealed during our event. All nominees are recognized during the program because we strongly believe it is an honor to be nominated. Therefore, we encourage you to bring all of your nominees with you to the celebration, along with their supervisors and your executive management team. This should be a property-wide celebration for you!

What do nominees and winners receive?
All nominees will be recognized and receive a Certificate at the MHLA Stars of the Industry Awards Ceremony. Winning individuals and properties will be brought on stage and presented commemorative awards during the ceremony. All winners will be announced in the MHLA newsletter, website and a statewide press release. All eligible lodging winners will be submitted for consideration in the American Hotel Lodging Association Stars of the Industry Awards.

If I have questions, whom may I contact? Christine Abe, or by calling (410) 974-4472.

Are sponsorship opportunities available? YES, a number of sponsorship opportunities are offered for this high-profile, industry-wide celebration. If you’d like to capitalize on the exposure and support your customers’ success, Click the Register/Sponsor tab or email Christine Abe to learn more. 


(All awards are for NON-MANAGEMENT employees unless otherwise noted)

Administrative/Support Star of the Year –
Nominees in this category must work in a non-management, clerical/secretarial capacity. This includes: administrative assistants in Sales, Catering, Accounting, Convention Services, Human Resources, Engineering, Rooms, Food and Beverage, Purchasing, receptionists, etc.

Food & Beverage Star of the Year –
Nominees in this category are non-management employees that are either associated with or prepare and serve food and beverage. This includes: hostpersons, cashiers, order takers, food checkers, servers, buspersons, bar porters/tenders, dishwashers, stewards, room service, etc

Guest Services Star of the Year-
Nominees in this category are non-management employees that provide guest services such as: front office, mail and information, reservations, security, concierges, communications, health club facilities, business center, bellstands, doorman, valet, courtesy van, etc.

Housekeeping Star of the Year-
Nominees in this category work in the housekeeping or laundry departments. This includes: room attendants, floor supervisors, housepersons, night cleaners, shampoo persons, laundry persons, linen room attendants, chute attendants, sewing attendants, etc.

Heart of the House Star of the Year –
Nominees in this category must work in a capacity that is non-management AND non-clerical employees in: AV, Engineering, Maintenance Technicians, Food and Beverage (i.e. conference coordinator), IT/MIS, Purchasing, (i.e., receiving, storeroom/beverage clerks), Store Room/Warehousing, etc.

Sales Professional of the Year – (may be in a management or non-management position)
Nominees in this category must work in a capacity that is supportive of the hotel sales process. An outstanding sales professional is not only tasked with obtaining financial sales objectives, but has greater responsibilities involving community engagement, vendor relations, subordinate development by enhancing and developing sales people into true hospitality sales professionals. A successful Sales Professional would always convey a positive image for the destination, the hotel and the hospitality industry as a whole. Examples of sales professionals are: Executive Meeting Managers, Catering Sales, Director of Sales, Area Director of Sales or Event Specialists.

Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year (MUST be under 30 yrs or age; may be in a management or non-management position)
This award honors an exemplary hotel employee under age 30 who has demonstrated superior professional dedication, leadership, and a fresh perspective to their job. This individual should: 1) illustrate “out of the box” thinking in their professional and personal life; 2) demonstrate dedication to the industry by participating in Association, community, or industry programs; and 3) be actively involved in community service in either the local or national arena.

Outstanding Manager of the Year
This award recognizes exceptional performance by a supervisory employee to their subordinates, to guests, and to the community. Those eligible for nomination include any management level employee who has responsibility for a division, department, or function (e.g., food and beverage managers, human resources managers, executive housekeepers, etc.)

General Manager of the Year
The finest hoteliers see the big picture while also looking after all the small details that make their vision a reality. These individuals have risen through the ranks and come to exemplify all the best attributes of our industry. They are General Managers who reach out to guests, inspire employees and extend themselves to the broader community.


This award will be given to a property that demonstrates responsibility and responsiveness to the local community and its residents. Examples include campaigns to benefit local or national service organizations or charities, service to any part of the community through a special project, and joint undertakings with community groups for the benefit of the area.

This award is given to a property that develops a climate conducive to new or repeat business, creates goodwill among guests, provides special services, reverse negative public relations situations, or effectively solve guest complaints.  This property will go above and beyond to take care and “wow” their guests.

Our industry thrives on innovation. It’s what elevates the guest experience and propels us forward. This award honors a property that drives fresh thinking and inspires a culture of innovation among staff, guests, the environment and/or the community. To nominate a property, tell us how they have initiated innovative practices and helped create a climate that encourages others to do the same.