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2nd Annual Ordinary Awards Finalists Announced

Thursday, September 14, 2017  
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Richmond, Va.September 14, 2017 – The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA) is excited and proud to announce the finalists for the 2017 VRLTA Ordinary Awards. Finalists and Winners of the peer nominated awards program will be announced on Monday, October 2, 2017 at The Westin Richmond during an Awards Dinner in their honor.

Restaurant, lodging, and tourism industry veterans from across the state reviewed the nominations, and scored each based on the individual’s, or organization’s,, extraordinary contributions to Virginia’s hospitality and travel industry, their guests, and colleagues.

During the awards dinner, winners from all 16 nominable awards will be announced, including the Charlie Buser Award for Attraction of the Year, the Jim Ricketts Award for DMO/CVB Employee of the Year, and the Jim Wordsworth Award for Restaurateur of the Year. Additionally, VRLTA will honor a hospitality or culinary student with the Rising Pineapple Award, and announce a 2017 Legislator of the Year and 2017 Golden Pineapple Lifetime Achievement Award.

Local Richmond personality and entrepreneur Kelli Lemon will serve as the emcee for the evening’s affairs. Lemon, of Like the Fruit, LLC, hosts Richmond’s “Coffee with Strangers” series and various social events in the greater Richmond region.

“We are ecstatic to be honoring and recognizing these outstanding hospitality and travel professionals at the second annual Ordinary Awards,” said Eric Terry, President of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. “Each and every one has provided extraordinary service to the industry and their guests. Virginia would not be the travel destination that it is, if not for their efforts.”

The 2017 Ordinary Awards are sponsored by Virginia Business Magazine, Visit Fairfax and Woodford Reserve.

2017 Ordinary Awards Finalists

Travel: Attraction of the Year
— Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company’s Chincoteague Pony Penning
— Massanutten Resort’s “Family Adventure Park”

Travel: Charlie Buser Award for Attraction Employee of the Year
— Dana Staniunas, Massanutten Resort
— Tina Knight, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

Travel: Jim Ricketts Award for DMO/CVB Employee of the Year
— Bob Harris, Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance
— Dan Cook, Discover Prince William & Manassas

Lodging: Hotel of the Year
— The Hilton Richmond Downtown, Richmond
— The National, Leesburg

Lodging: Hotelier of the Year
— Geoff Lawson, The National
— Peter Madigan, Uniwest Hospitality

Lodging: Hotel Employee of the Year
— Ada Sosa, SpringHill Suites Dulles Airport
— Rocqui Camm, Delta Hotels by Marriott Richmond Downtown

Restaurant: Restaurant of the Year
— Orofino Restaurant, Fredericksburg
— Wicker’s Crab Pot Seafood, Chesapeake

Restaurant: Jim Wordsworth Award for Restaurateur of the Year
— Kevin Healy, The Boathouse and Casa Del Barco
— Tony Stafford, Ford’s Fish Shack

Restaurant: Restaurant Employee of the Year
— Connlan Hogan, Capital Ale House Harrisonburg
— Jorge Molina, Ford’s Fish Shack South Riding

Restaurant: Chef of the Year
— Kyle Kupiszewski, Celebrity Chef Tour & Event Catering
— Tony Cochones, Glory Days Grill

Restaurant: Bartender of the Year
— David Weaver, Capital Ale House Innsbrook
— Mary Garriques, Capital Ale House Downtown Richmond

Beverage Producer: Brewery of the Year
— Blue Mountain Brewery + Blue Mountain Barrel House, Afton/Arrington
— Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works, Sperryville

Beverage Producer: Distillery of the Year
— A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Fredericksburg
— Copper Fox Distillery, Sperryville

Beverage Producer: Winery of the Year
— The Homeplace Vineyard, Chatham
— Williamsburg Winery (Michael Kimball), Williamsburg

Supplier of the Year
— Jo Diedrich, LeisureMedia360
— Kip Ruposky, VistaGraphics

Rising Pineapple Award for Student of the Year
— Devon Bedford, George Mason University
— Lauren Schlenker, Virginia Tech

For more information about VRLTA’s Ordinary Awards, visit or

About the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA)
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association is the only unified voice for the restaurant, lodging, travel and hospitality suppliers associations. VRLTA creates value for members by promoting the legislative interests of the industry, networking, educational opportunities, and protecting free enterprise. Inquiries about membership and VRLTA services should be directed to VRLTA at (804) 288-3065 or

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