Article Detail

2013 Arkansas Hospitality Association “Stars of the Industry Awards Gala”

Little Rock, AR   (February 26, 2013) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- The 13th Annual AHA Stars of the Industry Awards Gala is a time to celebrate and recognize the successes and leaders in hospitality. The following recipients were honored at a star-studded dinner and awards ceremony on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the Clinton Presidential Center. Over 200 industry people mixed and mingled to live music by local band, Dizzy Seven.   Montine McNulty, Executive Director says, “Everyone that is nominated is deserving of these awards. We value all of these employees because they are the backbone of the industry.”

The Michael Award: Tourism Region of the Year

Named after Michael Dandurand – in honor of his years of service to all 12 regions of the state: Arkansas South

Michael Scholarship Recipient:    James Aaron Kerr, Arkansas Tech,  Russellville

Awarded to a student pursuing a Degree in Hospitality Studies

Front of House Employee of the Year:   Lee Bland, Wyndham Riverfront, North Little Rock 

Heart of House Employee of the Year:  Jamaica Callaway, Hampton Inn, Russellville

Manager of the Year:     Carla Short, Can-U-Canoe, Eureka Springs

Silver Cup Award:     Mike Mills, Buffalo Outdoor Center/Riverwind Lodge, Ponca

Salut au Restaurateur:     Mike Coats, Mike’s Place, Conway

Golden Key:      Kurt Schatzl, Embassy Suites, Hot Springs

One Arkansas Hospitality Association member with distinguished records of service to the Arkansas hospitality industry was inducted as honorees into the Arkansas Hospitality Hall of Fame: Linda Scroggin, CJRW, Little Rock

The Maurice E. Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award that was established in 1995 was given to an Arkansas Hospitality Association member who has given twenty or more years of outstanding service to the Arkansas Hospitality Association. It has only been given four times prior, and hasn’t been given since 2008:

Maurice E. Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Coleman, Coleman Dairy, Little Rock

Front of House Employee of the Year Honorees:

Louis Short - Can-U-Canoe Rental Cabins, Eureka Springs

Tony Brown - Embassy Suites, Hot Springs

Cody Hill - Peabody Hotel, Little Rock

Lonnie Keys - Hometown Hotel, Bryant

Mandy Johnson - Lodge at Mount Magazine, Paris

Lee Bland - Wyndham Riverfront, North Little Rock

Darrell Holt - Embassy Suites, Little Rock

Yesica Estrada - Embassy Suites, Rogers


Heart of House Employee of the Year Honorees:

Laycell Wiggins - Southland Park Gaming & Racing, West Memphis

Jamaica Callaway - Hampton Inn, Russellville

Julie Burrus - Hometown Hotel, Bryant

Sara Callejas - Best Western Plus JFK Inn & Suites, North Little Rock

Lisa Hampton - Lodge at Mount Magazine, Paris

Elizabeth Heitzman - Austin Convention Hotel & Spa, Hot Springs

Gina Golden - Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa, Mt. Ida

Carol Dolan - Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

Michael Edgerson - Peabody Hotel, Little Rock

Ann Grimm - Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, Hot Springs

Ivan Salgado - Embassy Suites, Rogers


Manager of the Year Honorees:

Carla Short - Can-U-Canoe Rental Cabins, Eureka Springs

Amanda Burchett - Southland Park Gaming & Racing, West Memphis

Tom & Judy Adam - Guesthouse Inn, Little Rock

David Henry - Comfort Suites, Jonesboro

Brenda Williams - Best Western Premier Governor Suites, Little Rock

Jonathan Dearasaugh - Peabody Hotel, Little Rock

Tricia Bradley - Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, Hot Springs

Ginny Moulton - Embassy Suites, Little Rock

Richard Moore - Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, Hot Springs

Carol Wyrick - Hilton Garden Inn, North Little Rock

THANK YOU to our sponsors: Ben E. Keith, Clinton Presidential Center, Floral Express, Glazer’s Distributors of Arkansas, Heartland Payment Systems, Jason Burt Photography, and Little Rock Convention Visitors Bureau.


The Arkansas Hospitality Association (AHA) is the official voice of the restaurant and entertainment, hotel and lodging, and travel and tourism industries in the state of Arkansas. The association serves as an umbrella organization for the Arkansas Lodging Association, the Arkansas Restaurant Association and the Arkansas Travel Council. Members include restaurants, bars, hotels, lodges,

AHA CONTACT:    Holly Heer, Director of Membership Sales & Special Events, 501.376.2323

MEDIA CONTACT:    Montine McNulty, Executive Director, 501.376.2323