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2017 VRLTA Ordinary Awards Winners Announced

Tuesday, October 3, 2017  
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2017 VRLTA Ordinary Awards Winners Announced

VRLTA Announces 18 Honorees at Second Annual Dinner held at The Westin Richmond

2017 VRLTA Ordinary Awards Winners

Richmond, Va.October 3, 2017 – The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 VRLTA Ordinary Awards. Recipients were honored at a special dinner at The Westin Richmond on October 2, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. The winners were announced in front of a sold out audience of more than 175 hospitality and travel industry peers and leaders from across the state.

This was VRLTA’s second consecutive year hosting the Ordinary Awards, which were sponsored by Visit Fairfax, Virginia Business, and Woodford Reserve, which is the evening’s exclusive bourbon sponsor.

During the event, VRLTA honored Speaker of the House William J. Howell with the Legislator of the Year Award for his support of hospitality and tourism during his tenure. Tony DiFilippo, President and CEO of VisitNorfolk, was also honored before the audience with a Golden Pineapple Lifetime Achievement Award for his work to grow the tourism industry in Norfolk and throughout the Commonwealth.

The following individuals and businesses were selected from the more than 100 nominees:

Bartender of the Year

  • Mary Garriques, Capital Ale House Downtown Richmond

Charlie Buser Award for Attraction Employee of the Year

  • Dana Staniunas, Massanutten Resort

Hotel Employee of the Year

  • Rocqui Camm, Delta Hotels by Marriott Richmond Downtown

Restaurant Employee of the Year

  • Connlan Hogan, Capital Ale House Harrisonburg

Chef of the Year

  • Tony Cochones, Glory Days Grill restaurants

Supplier of the Year

  • Jo Diedrich, LeisureMedia360

Rising Pineapple Award for Hospitality & Tourism Student of the Year

  • Lauren Schlenker, Virginia Tech

Brewery of the Year

  • Blue Mountain Brewery + Blue Mountain Barrel House, Afton + Arrington

Distillery of the Year

  • Copper Fox Distillery, Sperryville + Williamsburg

Winery of the Year

  • Williamsburg Winery, Williamsburg

Hotelier of the Year

  • Geoff Lawson, The National Conference Center

Jim Ricketts Award for DMO/CVB Employee of the Year

  • Dan Cook, Discover Prince William & Manassas

Jim Wordsworth Award for Restaurateur of the Year

  • Tony Stafford, Ford’s Fish Shack restaurants

Attraction of the Year

  • Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company’s Chincoteague Pony Penning

Restaurant of the Year

  • Wicker’s Crab Pot Seafood, Chesapeake

Hotel of the Year

  • The National Conference Center, Leesburg

“The winners of the 2017 Ordinary Awards represent all the extraordinary people and companies that make up Virginia’s hospitality and tourism industry,” said Eric Terry President of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. “On behalf of the VRLTA, our staff, and board, we applaud the efforts of this individuals for the exemplary work they have done and will continue to do.”

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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