Rose Awards 31st Show


Quick Links to Winner Stories:

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

ROSE Award Winners

ROSE Award Nominees

Justo Alea
Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

Angela Alexander
Ivy Tech Community College

Erin Anderson
Indiana State Museum

Janet Bacon
Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

Rose Baker
IUPUI School of Physical Education and Tourism Management

Brian Baldwin
Indianapolis Marriott East

George Becker
Carey Indiana

Edwin “Bud” Billings
GO Express Travel

Lucy Brashear
Woodland Bowl

Tara Breck
Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel

Delbert Brooks
Embassy Suites Indianapolis Downtown

Anthony Brown II
Homewood Suites Keystone at the Crossing

Bryan Brown
Indianapolis Colts Grille

Cynthia “Cindy” Brown
Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium

Lorna Cantera
JW Marriott Indianapolis

Samantha Casendino
The Westin Indianapolis

Choon “Spring” Chung
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

Kevin Cloer
Mo’s...A Place for Steaks

Bill Coffey
Levy Restaurants

Katherine Creagh
Indiana State Museum

Bobby Crosby
Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

Javier Cruz
Scotty’s Brewhouse

Cesar Cruz-Flores
Skyline Club

Taylor Debaun
The Columbia Club

Jeff Dicus
Omni Severin Hotel

Alicia Disalvo
Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport

Samantha Edwards
Scotty’s Brewhouse Downtown

Amy Ellingwood
Fishers Conference and Banquet Center

Angel Ellis
Hampton Inn & Suites Indianapolis Airport

Cheryl Fesmire
Indiana Historical Society

Elvira Fragoso
Holiday Inn Indianapolis North - Carmel

Richard Gaede
The Capital Grille

Rocael Garcia
Homewood Suites Indianapolis Downtown

Melissa Gibson
Levy Restaurants

Teresa Gomez
Drury Inn & Suites Northwest Indianapolis

Carla Gonzalez
Omni Severin Hotel

Eddie Grogan
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Alyson Gum
Scotty’s Brewhouse Northside

Margie Kay Hackler
Indianapolis Marriott North

Jennifer Hafley
The Capital Grille

Winfred Harris
Indianapolis Marriott North

Louise Henderson
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures

Andres Hijar
St. Elmo Steak House

James Hill
Indianapolis Airport Authority

Paulette Hill
Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing

Ian Horn
Hampton Inn Downtown

Nyree Humbert
IUPUI School of Physical Education and Tourism Management

Parron Ireland
Wyndham Indianapolis West

Jane Jackson
Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

Maria Jimenez
Harry & Izzy’s Downtown

Zac Johnson
Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station

John Kates
Mo’s...A Place for Steaks

Olivia Kennett
Indianapolis Museum of Art

Angela Kohlmorgen

Kevin Kosanke
Conrad Indianapolis

Ryan Lambert
Embassy Suites Indianapolis North

Keith Legge
Citizens Energy Group

Tonya Marshall
Climb Time Indy

Lucas Mason
Hilton Indianapolis North

Arlene McDonald
Indiana Sports Corporation

Jennifer Merritt
Ivy Tech Community College

Vicente Meza
Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing

Rodney Mitchell
Weber Grill Restaurant

Jamie Moore
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport

Megan “Megs” Neyer
Markey’s Rental & Staging

Sheryl Proctor
Accent on Indianapolis

Humberto Quintero
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

Jack Ragland
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Myra Raines
Holiday Inn Express South

Travis Rawley
Southern Bowl

John Max “Dusty” Rhodes

Karen Richardson
Indianapolis Airport Authority

Rozanne Robertson
Western Bowl

Yommier Robertson
Embassy Suites Indianapolis North

Candice Ruttan
Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel

Lou Schulz
Harry & Izzy’s North

Stephanie Scott
Holiday Inn Indianapolis North - Carmel

Kara Showley
Weber Grill Restaurant

Joseph Smerdel
Mesh Restaurant

Todd Smith
St. Elmo Steak House

Paula Steen
Citizens Energy Group

Anthony Stevenson
NCAA Hall of Champions

Mike Swearingin
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown

Corey Tasker
Hampton Inn Indianapolis Northwest - Park 100

Edna Troxtell
Conrad Indianapolis

Mohammed “Jamil” Uddin
Hilton Indianapolis North

Todd VanBuskirk
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Casey Votaw
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Norman Wade
Scotty’s Brewhouse Northside

Anthony White
The Westin Indianapolis

Sharon Whitehead
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

Shelly Whitmore
Residence Inn Indianapolis Northwest

Brian Williams
IndyGo - Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation

L. Dontae Williams
Indianapolis Museum of Art

Lisa Yeager
Commuter Connect a service of CIRTA

Arlene McDonald — Volunteer
Indiana Swimming, Indiana Sports Corporation

Keep in mind Arlene has serves in her role 100 percent as a volunteer. For the past 25 years, she has been a key volunteer in the promotion and execution of numerous events for a downtown organization. From the time she walked into this organization’s family in 1987 thru volunteering with the Pan American Games and continuing through Super Bowl 46, she has been a valued committee member, displaying a positive can-do attitude. Her area of expertise has been the numerous swimming championship events that have come to Indianapolis. She has taken lead roles in the operations for the 2000 US Olympic Team Trials, 2004 World Swimming Championships and NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Not to mention her work with Indiana Swimming and their championship events. Arlene was heavily involved in bringing the 2012 thru 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships to Indianapolis. All of these events have, and will continue to create substantial economic impact for the city. As Indy pursues the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, one of Indy’s most compelling aspects of the bid is Arlene being a part of that team. It sounds like she may deserve an honorary Olympic medal! Because of her lengthy service in the hospitality industry, Arlene qualifies as a Lifetime Rose Award recipient.
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Sheryl Proctor — Tour Guide
Accent on Indianapolis

Whether it’s a fun fact about our city, the newest breakfast spot in town, or a shortcut to our next destination, Sheryl knows Indy. Pair her Indy knowledge with her attention to detail, positive attitude, proactive thinking and maternal nature, and we have ourselves a ROSE winner. Sheryl took it upon herself to go above and beyond when she voluntarily assumed the role of educating visiting chauffeurs from Dallas for Super Bowl 46. Educate, she did. She gave them a two hour tour of the city before the wave of excitement of the big event hit. She showed them not only the important destinations, but discussed Indy’s Super Service initiative at length. She made it her job to ensure that every guest that rode those shuttles received the hospitable feeling Indy wanted to share with visitors. Not only does she share her passion of Indy and exemplary service through this part-time job at a destination management company, but also has a full time teaching job. It’s fun for her fellow employees to watch her mix the two talents. Especially when she began working at a new virtual school where students attend class online. She went on to create a virtual field trip to Indianapolis. 50 students from all over the state of Indiana “attended” this field trip and yet again, got another great tour of our city. In 2008, Sheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer. During treatment, she maintained a positive attitude and continued to work events. She is now a four year survivor that’s busy sharing her zest for life and love for Indy. Sheryl has dedicated twenty years of service to downtown Indy’s destination management company, Accent on Indianapolis. This makes her a Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
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Humberto Quintero — Banquet Captain
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

Humberto is described as a mentor, a motivator and a leader that is unlike anyone else. As a leader in hotel banquets, he is seamlessly able to add a classic touch to event operations while continuously adapting to our ever changing industry. This particular skill proved to be invaluable when Indy was at the helm of a monumental event – you guessed it, Super Bowl 46. And this honoree was at the helm of the official New York Giants postgame party. With the Giants winning the largest sporting event in the world, he, in turn, was about to host the most exclusive party in the world. It is fair to say that no task is too small – or in this case, too large for him to handle. Especially when that particular night, the party count rose to 4,500, as opposed to the 2,500 that were expected. He never flinched, faltered or failed. What’s often most rewarding about these opportunities is a staff that recognizes his ambassadorship of hospitality. His ability to facilitate new generations of talent is invaluable. Having served 13 years in his current role and 25 years in the hospitality industry, we certainly hope many people proudly follow in his footsteps. From his beginnings in Colombia working with his mother in her restaurant to today, overseeing 40,000 square feet of banquet space, Humberto has dedicated 25 years to the industry. That qualifies Humberto for a Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Justo Alea — Banquet Captain
Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

For the past three and a half years, Justo has kept a strong smile while wearing many hats. He works to ensure that not only are his hotel guests comfortable, but that fellow teammates enjoy their working environment. Justo started as a houseperson in a downtown hotel’s housekeeping department, but was quickly promoted to banquet captain. That’s not all. Unofficially, he dedicates hours of his week to serve as the hotel’s translator for special employee events or training sessions. A recent hotel guest said, “This is the first comment card I have ever filled out and I travel a lot. He was great and very kind." Another guest recently wrote a letter to the hotel boasting on him. She even went on to call him “the man of the week.” With this ROSE recognition, it’s fair to call him, “the man of the year.” Justo has been with the Hilton Indianapolis for three and a half years and has been working in the hospitality industry overall for eleven years.
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Lorna Cantera — Human Resources Coordinator
JW Marriott

Six languages. Six volunteer organizations. Eight years in hospitality. And 800 employees rely on Lorna daily. She is the employee who is always serving cake or cookies to team members, is the first to visit the hospital when an associate becomes ill or injured, and always graciously volunteers to be Mrs. Claus at the holiday party. Many claim she is much more than a great associate, but an extended part of their family. So much so, that one particular associate made her the godmother to her newborn. Every year the downtown hotel’s associate opinion survey is submitted, and every year Lorna is mentioned as a key reason to work for the hotel. Clearly, this is catching attention out at corporate headquarters, because Indy’s shining star will represent the hotel company and our city in an international training video. Lorna has been with JW Marriott since its opening two years ago and has worked in the hospitality industry for eight years. When she first moved her family to the U.S., she knew very little English, and now can fluently speak six languages.
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Bill Coffey — Suite Runner
Levy Restaurants, Bankers Life Fieldhouse

It seems as if all the words of service, commitment, dedication, compassion or inspiration can be summed up in one story. A few months ago, Indy was calling for one of the worst blizzards since 1978. And so it was on the day after Christmas, we woke up to a foot of snow and 40 mph winds. At 7 pm that day, the Chicago Bulls were set to take on the Indiana Pacers. Managers were left scrambling with multiple call-offs due to the weather. Much to their surprise, Bill walked in the door that day at 11:15 a.m – about 45 minutes prior to his scheduled shift. One must understand the dedication here. You see, bus routes were closed, so Bill set out two hours early to make the walk from home to work. He showed up with snow-soaked shoes and a shirt – but he showed. He was given new clothes and eagerly set off to work fulfilling his duties, and everyone else’s that had called off. He worked efficiently to get every suite ready in time for the game. Then, the NBA calls. The game is canceled. Without hesitation, he started breaking down and cleaning up everything he had just completed. Word quickly spread throughout the building of this guy’s dedication. One of the senior managers at Pacers Sports and Entertainment got word and gave him a much deserved ride home that night. He is the true meaning of a legendary act, and his recognition shouldn’t stop there. This marks Bill’s fifth year as a Levy Restaurant employee.
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Cesar Cruz-Flores — Captain
Skyline Club

The nomination form submitted for Cesar states clearly at the top, “EXCEPTIONAL can only be the word to describe this employee.” Exceptional dedication. Exceptional service. Exceptionally positive. With his extensive knowledge of the menu, he is the ‘go to man’ on the floor. When an employee calls in sick, guess who’s the first to get the call? With enthusiasm, this recipient will go above and beyond with additional shifts. Every day he walks into the restaurant, you can see his mind go to work. An unwritten checklist that ensures everything is top notch – employees will even watch him as he goes table to table before the guests arrive to make sure there isn’t even the slightest of rockiness to the table. Call him a perfectionist, but a perfectionist that deserves recognition as a 2013 Rose Award recipient. Cesar is months away from celebrating a decade of service as the Captain of the Skyline Club.
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Samantha Edwards — Server
Scotty’s Brewhouse Downtown

Whether you’re there to catch a game, grab a beer, or bring the family in for some grub, there’s a good chance you’ll run into this redhead with a contagious laugh. Her strategy to service is simple, yet brilliant. She always ensures she has learned something about one of her guests in order to create memorable moments for everyone. It must work the same way with fellow teammates, as everyone wants to be on the same shift of that picture perfect employee and friend.Samantha's graciousness was clearly defined this past November when the restaurant owner hosted a special event in support of Coach Chuck Pagano's fight with cancer. On the night of a Colts game, a professional barber was brought into the restaurant lobby to shave heads in honor of Pagano. Samantha stepped right up to the barber’s chair and away went that red hair to Locks of Love. She felt compelled to help someone she will most likely never meet. She’s one of Indy’s greatest examples of selfless leaders. Repeat guests and fellow employees affectionately call her Sammi. For one and a half years of service and at the age of 21, Sammmi is our youngest ROSE recipient.
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Candice Ruttan — Bartender, Grille 39 Bar
Renaissance Hotel

Alongside Candice’s nomination was a thick stack of comments cards. There were too many cards to count! Each of these comment cards all had something in common – they kept repeating the same name. One guest said, “She is one of the nicest employees you have. She remembers our company employees by name and anticipates our needs. She is truly exceptional and one of the main reasons we return so often.” It became apparent in reading these stacks of comment cards, that many guests not only return to this hotel property for her service, but also in anticipation of quality conversations with this server. These are conversations this employee has been having with repeat guests for the past five years – ever since the hotel opened its doors. She’s seen people come and go, and she remains. Every manager that joins the team quickly learns to appreciate her ownership of the service, operating as if the bar were her own. Not only does she take care of her guests above and beyond, she is extremely cognizant of the bar’s financial performance. Her employer feels confident in attributing the hotel bar’s consistent ranking of being in the top five best hotel bars across this hotel’s entire portfolio, to Candice. She has been with Grille 39 Bar at the Renaissance Hotel since its opening five years ago, and a member of the hospitality community for the past ten years.
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Brian Williams — Coach Operator/Trainer

Perhaps it’s his five years of service, or the 100,000 passengers he has transported, or even the 60,000 miles he’s logged that make this gentleman one of our honorees. While his stats are impressive, he knows it’s not about the numbers, but rather the excellence in service. Brian’s nomination form began with this sentence, “He knows what service is – he’s made of it.” He is invested in making our town a great place to live, work and play. After all, it’s his job to safely deliver folks to appointments, jobs, tourist attractions and special events. And he always does just that with a friendly demeanor and a humbling attitude. His service leadership doesn’t always take place behind the wheel. Brian is also charged with training incoming drivers. He also contributes an editorial column to their company’s newsletter, called “The Driver’s Side”, which examines day-to-day happenings in the business. After miles trekked, passengers delivered, new drivers trained, and an editorial column penned – he just keeps trucking along. You’ll find him sharing his faith as an assistant pastor where he also acts as a counselor for people with addictions. He volunteers with Indy’s Father and Families Center, an organization committed to enhancing the capacity of young fathers. Here’s what he recently said about his job, “Driving a bus is more than just a job. It’s about my impact – what can I do to contribute? It’s our duty to serve one another, and working here, has given me the chance to serve lots of people.” Brian certainly has inspired his 100,000-plus passengers and so many more. He has worked with IndyGo for five years.
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If you have questions about ROSE Awards, please contact:
Nate Swick
Senior Communications Manager

Rose Awards Honorees
Citizens Energy Group


“I continue to be very proud of my Rose award. On a personal note, I can't tell you how proud my wife and family are, and it's certainly nice to know that I helped contribute to one of a long list of awards for the Renaissance!”

Keith Mays

Keith Mays
Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel