The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) honored 12 individuals (see list at end of release) from the hospitality industry on Monday, May 20th, during the 24th Annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence. The gala dinner, held at the Aria Ballroom at MGM Springfield, attracted more than 300 tourism industry professionals.

The awards, produced by the GSCVB, recognize front-line employees in the hospitality industry who go
above and beyond in the performance of their duties and provide outstanding service to their guests and
customers. By doing so, these hospitality professionals contribute to the economic vitality of the businesses they serve and the region overall.

The winners were chosen from among 57 finalists. The finalists were selected by the Howdy Awards
Committee from more than 400 nominations among nine categories. The Committee also selected the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to receive the Spotlight Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations for their dedication and outstanding contribution to the region’s hospitality industry. The People’s Choice Award which is driven by social media via the Howdy Awards Facebook page was also

“We’re proud and happy to present the Howdy Awards to honor just some of the most important people in
the hospitality industry, the frontline workers,” said GSCVB President Mary Kay Wydra. “They are usually
the first person a visitor encounters, and if they’re especially nice and go above and beyond, that visitor is likely to return to that – and other – tourism locations.”

The Howdy Awards program consists of a nomination process for which any hospitality service provider in the region is eligible – regardless of whether their organization is a GSCVB member. Three respected
industry leaders selected from outside Western Mass judged the finalists, and selected the winners in each category. The judges for this year’s event included Michael Quinlan of Commonwealth Marketing Office, Cindy Brown of Boston Duck Tours and Steve Mills of Constellation Brands.

Each Howdy award winner received a decorative glass Hospitality Excellence Award, a framed certificate of achievement and a custom gift bag filled with gift certificates and other items from the region’s top tourism establishments.

Sponsors for the 2019 Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence include MGM Springfield, Yankee Candle Company, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, WWLP TV-22, Aladco Linen Co, Baystate Health, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Freedom Credit Union,, Performance Foodservice, Williams Distributing, IHeart Media, Eastern States Exposition and The Republican.

The GSCVB, an affiliate of the Economic Development Council of Western MA, is a private non-profit
destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting Western Mass for meetings and conventions,
group tours, sports and leisure travel.

For information on GSCVB, visit