IRON RANGE – Winners of the 2018 Spirit of Hospitality Awards were announced Oct. 28, at a ceremony held at the Eveleth Auditorium. More than 73 people representing 36 Iron Range businesses and organizations were nominated in eight categories; 58 chose to interview for the award. The winners in the various categories were: • Bartending: Sean Splawn, The Whistling Bird; • Behind-the-Scenes: Mollie
Stanford, Arrowhead Library System;
• Food Production: Phyllis Rayton, Range Mental
• Guest Relations: Dan
Darbo with the Hoyt Lakes
Municipal Golf Course;
• Hotel Guest Services:
Bonnie Avikainen, Fortune
Bay Resort Casino;
• Retail: Bonnie Washington, Auto Zone;
• Server: Ailie Marsyla,
• Volunteer of the Year:
Greg Gilness, Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Committee.
In a new category— Champion of Tourism— Fortune Bay Resort Casino was recognized for their ongoing support of and contribution to tourism and the visitor economy across the region.
“It is always a great honor to meet the people in our region who make our businesses shine,” said Jane Serrano, event committee chair and general manager of Holiday Inn Express and Suites. “When we interview the SOHA candidates we are always blown away by the quality of our workforce.”
The event, which just celebrated its seventh anniversary, strives to recognize excellence in customer service through a nomination, interview and awards process. Nominations for the 2019 Spirit of Hospitality Awards are being accepted
The Iron Range Tourism Bureau is a nonprofit destination marketing organization serving the communities of
Hibbing, Chisholm, Buhl, Mountain Iron, Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert, Biwabik, Aurora, Hoyt Lakes and Embarrass.