Hospitality industry names WAVE winners


The Amway Grand Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids opened in 1971. Photo via

Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association will honor some of the top professionals in the hospitality industry this week.

Winners of the Way Above Visitor Expectations, or WAVE, awards and their employers will be formally recognized at the Impacting Hospitality Celebration on Thursday, from 3:30-5 p.m., at the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival, which is being held at DeVos Place.

Experience Grand Rapids will also recognize its Hometown Champions at the ceremony for their help in bringing conventions to Grand Rapids.

This is the sixth year in a row that the WAVE awards have been given out to local hospitality employees for providing outstanding service.

A panel of judges evaluated nominees on attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency.

2014 WAVE winners

Restaurants/Breweries: Kevin Doyle, Terra GR (formerly)

Lodging 150+ Rooms: Tim Russ, Amway Grand Plaza

Lodging Less than 150 Rooms: Ben Rastello*, CTA, Holiday Inn Express Grandville
(* accepting posthumously for Ben is his employer, Catherine Novak, and wife, Mandy Rastello)

Nightlife: Raeanne Lupo, Brewery Vivant

Transportation: Jon Clark, Runabouts

Retail & Service: Veronica Aho, CTA, DGRI Safety Ambassador program

Attractions/Events: Corey Barton, Grand Rapids Art Museum

Volunteer in Hospitality: Mark Jastrzembski, Meijer State Games volunteer 

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