Tourism pros win statewide Star awards


Lori Varner. Courtesy Suburban Inns

Five local professionals in the tourism industry have received statewide awards for their work.

The Stars of the Industry Awards were presented this spring by the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association during the 2018 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids.

The awards went to nominated employees at convention and visitors bureaus, tourism businesses and lodging properties.

Winners received engraved plaques, cash rewards and room accommodations.

Lori Varner, corporate director of sales for Hudsonville-based Suburban Inns, won the award for sales and marketing.

Grant Hirst, general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Holland, a Suburban Inns property, nominated Varner for the award.

“We nominated Lori, because she has an unsurpassed passion for sales and has demonstrated excellence in her field for many years,” Hirst said. “She deserves to be recognized for her achievements over the course of her career with Suburban Inns and especially for a stellar 2017 year.”

West Michigan winners

Attraction Star

Amanda Versalle, Michigan’s Adventure, Muskegon

Culinary Star

Kellie Trimble-Dearie, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek

Good Earth Keeping Star

Cheryl Siewinski, JW Marriott Grand Rapids

Sales & Marketing Star

Lori Varner, Suburban Inns, multiple locations

Student Star

Savannah Bailey, Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids

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