Sign up for trip ideas, opportunities to receive prize packs, and more!Sign Up For Email
Alvin "Blue" Clark — Lead Pastry Chef
Levy Restaurants/Conseco Fieldhouse
ROSE recipient Alvin "Blue" Clark could qualify as one of the sweetest guys you know. That’s because his specialty is desserts. And while not directly on the frontline of service, there can no doubt that his culinary creations have brought smiles to the faces of thousands of visitors and residents alike over the years. Because -- consider this -- this is his 53rd year in the hospitality industry. It’s been quite the journey. Clark started making pastries when he was 17 but, lacking a formal education, he was unable to read, forcing him to memorize more than 600 recipes. At age 35, his wife and five children helped him learn to read. His career eventually led him to Levy Restaurants at Conseco Fieldhouse, where he has been the lead pastry chef for the past five years, making all his desserts from scratch. Clark now serves as a mentor to younger staff, instilling them with passion for his craft, the pride of creation and customer satisfaction. In 1976, Clark was certified as the first African-American Pastry Chef in the United States. He also was named Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation.
Jeff Hilbert and Dave "Rudy" Ruschhaupt — Master Coach Operators
The Free Enterprise System Motor Coach Company
(Pictured at left is Tonia Taylor-Hilbert, Jeff Hilbert's wife, with Rudy Ruschhaupt.) ROSE Award recipients Jeff Hilbert and Dave "Rudy" Ruschhaupt share the same title: Master Coach Operators. Masters, indeed. The dynamic duo earns praise from of all whom they come in contact. Terms and phrases such as "professional," "friendly," "courteous, "a joy," "over the top in customer service", "always exceeds the expectation," and most of all ñ "safe" ñ are among the multitude of positive comments they have received from those they serve. Whether it’s athletic teams, school tours, youth groups, pleasure excursions, day charters or extended journeys to distant locations, Ruschhaupt and Hilbert repeatedly go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service. They have shown themselves to be much more than drivers, but guides, chaperones, counselors, communicators, protectors, luggage handlers and problem-solvers. Says their nominator, Charter Sales Director Kathey Morgan, "It is our goal to wow the customers and these guys do just that. Wow!" Hilbert has driven for Free Enterprise for more than nine years, while Rudy has been with Free Enterprise for more than 12 years.
Charles "Eric" Hinkle — Education Services Coordinator
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
Museums can be a static place. That is, until the doors open.
Then chaos can reign. But at the Eiteljorg, ROSE Award recipient Eric Hinkle is charged with bringing mildness to the madness, and his success at doing so has earned the exemplary plaudits of visitors, volunteers and co-workers. Hinkle oversees more than 70 museum guides. He matches guides to groups. He plans, schedules and confirms hundreds of trips for thousands of visitors ranging from kindergarten to college students to adults. He coordinates the schedules of visiting artists so outreach trips to schools and community centers can be arranged. He’s on the frontline of fielding calls and providing information. And he does it all with a smile. Says his nominator, Director of Education Cathy Burton, “He does everything with good humor, a trait more than one person I talked to mentioned before anything else. He chuckles to himself. He is delighted with providing a well-laid plan for visiting groups. And should that plan come undone, he always finds a way to come up with a better plan.” Hinkle is routinely praised for prompt attention to requests and thorough follow-up and follow-through. Whether it’s a bus pass, lunch information for a school group or program materials, Hinkle is at the ready to respond to any need. Better still, he is an ambassador for Indianapolis in general and other downtown attractions in particular. While Hinkle has worked for the Eiteljorg for the past five years, he has 20 years in the hospitality industry, thus making him a lifetime recipient of the ROSE Award.
Louis Kattie — Assistant Manager
Enterprise Rent A Car, Indianapolis International Airport
One story says it all about the worthiness of ROSE Award recipient Louis Kattie. That’s because it’s quite a story about extraordinary customer service. This past December, a customer arrived at Enterprise Rent A Car at Indianapolis International Airport. He was here to visit his young son. Because he is disabled, the customer had requested a car that featured hand-operated acceleration and braking controls. Unfortunately, due to a reservations mix-up, when the customer arrived, no such car was available. And, because it was a Saturday night, he was told none would be available at least until Monday. Understandably, the customer was upset. Understandably, without the specially equipped car, he effectively would be stranded and unable to begin his visit with this son. That’s when Kattie learned of the situation and stepped forward. He said that in lieu of having transportation available for the customer, he would become that customer’s transportation. First, he arranged for taxi service to the home in Mooresville where the customer would be staying. Then, the next afternoon, a Sunday, Kattie arrived at that Mooresville home to pick up the customer. It was snowing and the roads were treacherous, but Kattie drove the customer to Plainfield to pick up his son, and then served as their chauffeur until later that evening. The next morning, a specially equipped car was located. Again, Kattie drove to Mooresville, picked up the customer, and returned him to Enterprise, where the car was waiting. What Kattie never mentioned was that he actually lived in Noblesville, some 35 miles from Mooresville. When the customer learned that the assistant manager had undertaken a 70-mile roundtrip, on a Sunday day off, in bad road conditions, well, needless to say, he was moved by that level of customer service. Kattie Louis has been with Enterprise Rent a Car for two years and, according to his manager, he provides exceptional customer service as a rule, not as the exception.
Pamela Kennson — Docent
Indianapolis Museum of Art
ROSE Award recipient Pamela Kennson performs a critical role in enhancing the experience for thousands of visitors annually to one of the Indianapolis area’s most popular attractions, the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In no small part due to her efforts, the number of public tour visits to the IMA has nearly quadrupled. Kennson has accomplished this by expanding the information on the public calendar to provide specific descriptions of tours and exhibits. But her service goes beyond mere numbers. Though she supervises this museum’s volunteer docent program ñ a docent, by the way, is a guide ñ she always is quick to step forward and move into the role of docent herself. She also has supervised the use of video, enabling docents to tape their own education sessions. That in turn has allowed docents to be better informed about new exhibits and touring ideas. Kennson also has advocated for accessibility, in particular for those with hearing disabilities, making sure to develop and provide devices that would assist listening ability. Pamela has been with the IMA 11 years.
Andrew Meyers — Server, Host, Catering
Scotty's Brewhouse, 96th Street
In just one year with Scotty’s Brewhouse, Andrew Meyers has been recognized as employee of the week and employee of the month. Now he adds a ROSE Award to those distinctions. Scotty’s General Manager John Cavanaugh praises Meyers for his unfailingly upbeat attitude that rubs off on co-workers, managers and, especially, customers. While working primarily as a server and host, Meyers also has had a positive impact on the catering operations of Scotty’s. He’s cited as a key reason for a 400 percent increase in business. Said one client, "He truly has great attention to detail, always has a smile on his face and a super, how-can-I-help-you attitude." Here are some other comments from customers: "He did a fantastic job. Multiple people commented on his awesomeness." "You are voted MVP of the week." Meyers has been with Scotty’s for one year and in the hospitality industry for more than six. Says Cavanaugh, "If Andrew didn’t have ambitions to attend IU law school, I’d promote him to manager."
Kim Mills — Food and Beverage Server
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
ROSE recipient Kim Mills was named Hyatt Regency Indianapolis associate of the year in 2009. The hotel also has an All-Star team to recognize service excellence. Mills has been selected to that team of All-Stars no fewer than 18 times in her 26-year career. It’s easy to see why. As the lead trainer for servers and the primary trainer for all new hires, Mills goes beyond the basics to impart her passion, skill and knowledge of the job. Wrote one of her trainees, "You make the restaurant part of your family and treat everyone like they are your children. You have such a caring heart and show it every day." Not long ago, the hotel restaurant was visited by a secret shopper who did his best to rattle Mills on a busy morning. It was all to no avail. The secret shopper later described Mills’ service as flawless and said Mills, in particular, was "delightful." Says manager Laurie Butler, "She exemplifies leadership. The sincerity of her concern for her guests and fellow associates is truly amazing. She treats the restaurant as if it were her home." As a server at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis since 1984, Mills qualifies as a Lifetime Recipient of the ROSE Award.
Rachel Radez — Guest Service Agent/Special Event Coordinator
Holiday Inn Express Northwest - Indianapolis
In nominating Rachel Radez for her 2010 ROSE Award, Assistant General Manager Brandy McClaren said the problem was not coming up a specific examples of her service excellence. The problem was determining among which from to choose. McClaren cited a newlywed couple on a tight budget who couldn’t afford a luxurious honeymoon at a far-away resort. So they booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express. And it was just a standard room, not even the honeymoon suite. But, in taking their reservation, Radez decided "just a room" wouldn’t be sufficient. For starters, she made certain fellow staff would give the couple a joyous welcome upon their arrival. Then, even though it was her day off, she arrived to greet the couple with wine, flowers and some other romantic items, all of which she paid for with her own money. Then there’s the frequent guest who has both intellectual and physical disabilities. Radez makes sure he has travel to and from his destination. She sometimes brings him home-cooked meals and tends to his special requests. Still another extended-stay guest has been on the receiving end of home-cooked meals delivered by Radez. Why, the guest asked? Radez’s reply: "I know it’s been a while since you’ve been home, and everyone should have a home-cooked meal every now and again." How popular is Radez among her hotel’s guests? Consider this Ö a number of guests attended her wedding, or sent cards and gifts. Even when checking in, the first question many guests often ask is, "Where is Rachel?" And if she is not on duty, they want to know when she will arrive so they can visit with her before she departs. Hotel management says Radez has been an integral part of raising the overall score for guest satisfaction by more than 10 percent in the year she has been employed.
Irma Rodarte — Room Attendant
Omni Severin Hotel
You could talk about Irma Rodarte’s nearly 10 years of service as a guest room attendant at the Omni Severin Hotel. You could talk about how she fills in anytime there’s a need because of illness or short-staffing. You could talk about how she goes above and beyond cleaning guest rooms to working in the lobby, doing turndown service or laundry. You could talk about her upbeat attitude, her being named a hotel service champion five years running, or being counted upon to train new guest room attendants. You could even talk about the fact that several guests who return annually for high-profile events in Indianapolis routinely request Rodarte as their guest-room attendant. Those alone would qualify Rodarte to be a ROSE Award recipient. But then there’s also this. This past year, she helped save a guest’s life. While on duty one day, Rodarte heard strange noises coming from a room. Upon investigation, she discovered a guest lapsing into a diabetic coma. She quickly summoned emergency assistance and stayed with the guest until medical help arrived. Right person. Right place. Right time. Life saved. John Billstrand, director of human resources, says the Omni Severin and Indianapolis are better places because or Irma’s heart for service and the genuine connections she makes with visitors. Rodarte’s selflessness extends to her home life, where she gladly prepares meals for those in need, or watches neighbors’ children whenever necessary.
Russ Roth — Valet/Bell Captain
Imagine the plight and exasperation of the family who was staying at the Hilton Indianapolis on Christmas Day to be near their son, who had undergone cancer surgery the previous day. As the family went to their vehicle to travel to the hospital, they discovered the vehicle had been vandalized, with windows broken out. Not knowing what to do, they turned to valet/bell captain Russ Roth, a 2010 ROSE Award recipient. Within minutes, he arranged for a glass company to repair the vehicle, even though it was Christmas Day. He called an associate in maintenance, who vacuumed the broken glass from the vehicle. And while the family awaited repair, he had the vehicle parked under the hotel canopy so it would be protected from the snow that was falling. Far more quickly than could have been expected, the family was on its way to the hospital. That is but one of the stories that makes up the testimony for Roth. There was the NBA team whose bus experienced mechanical difficulties that threatened to delay its departure for Conseco Fieldhouse. Roth’s swift action ensured alternate transportation and a timely arrival. Another self-described world traveler cites Roth’s "exceptional service and willingness to help in any way." Says his nominator, "Though his title is valet/bell captain, you might find him storing luggage, arranging transportation, helping a guest in the business center, at the front desk checking guests in and out and even parking cars. He has continually taken the initiative to cross train in every facet of hospitality within his reach." Roth has been with the Hilton Indianapolis for two years and already has been promoted twice. Hilton Indianapolis says Russ’s work has enabled the hotel to increase its guest satisfaction and loyalty ratings.
Kenneth "KT" Taylor — Server
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
When you arrive at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on North Michigan Road, if you are lucky to be seated in a certain section, you won’t just be served food. You will be entertained by the singing server. That’s the trademark of ROSE Award recipient Kenneth "KT" Taylor. Perhaps you’ve heard of singing for your supper? Well, KT turns it around. He’ll sing along with your breakfast. There is even video proof. One group of ladies jokingly asked Taylor to sing for them. When he did, indeed, break out into song, one of the ladies recorded it on her I-phone and posted it on You Tube. The video is titled, "Best Breakfast Ever." As often happens, the viral effect of the video has taken hold, and now KT routinely has customers requesting him. He has been employed by Cracker Barrel for 3-1/2 years.
Jason Woolridge — Banquet Set-Up and Server
Renaissance Indianapolis North
Sometimes it is said that youth is wasted on the young. That would not be the case with ROSE Award recipient Jason Woolridge. In little more than a year since graduating from Purdue University, Wooldridge has distinguished himself to clients and co-workers alike with this attitude, work ethic and service-oriented manner. While his primary duties are banquet set-up and he spends much of his day in the "back of the house," that has not prevented Woolridge from making an up-front impression. One banquet he worked generated no fewer than 50 comment cards singing his praises. His nominator, HR Director Erin Hayek, notes it all begins with outlook, saying his temperament is "150 percent positive" and that positive attitude is "contagious." Hayek continues, "His service to guests is excellent every day and his service to his co-workers and managers is excellent every moment. He defines service excellence with his positivity, his commitment to perfection, his dependability and high level of responsibility. He was born to receive this award."
If you have questions about ROSE Awards, please contact:
Senior Communications Manager