Award Winners

Congratulations to all of the 2016 R.O.S.E. and R.I.S.E. Award winners! Have you received extraordinary customer service?
Nominate them here.

Daniel Allen - ROSE Winner

Daniel Allen
Slot Attendant
Majestic Star Casino and Hotel
Gary, Ind.

Daniel has been a passionate and loyal employee at Majestic Star Casino for 15 years. His knowledge of the casino business has made him a strong leader and has garnered the respect of his fellow team members. His best quality is his strong guest service and the ability to work around many obstacles and follow through with guests. While recently helping a couple at the casino find a particular slot machine, he looked the machine up on the system and after apologizing that it was no longer in that particular location, he continued to search the floor. He found the guests shortly afterward to make sure they had found what they were looking for. He is always pulling together his resources to make sure the guest has a positive experience.

Jennifer Buckler  - ROSE Winner

Jennifer Buckler
Guest Service Representative
Residence Inn by Marriott
Hammond, Ind.

Jennifer is known to go above and beyond for each guest. One particular family that was staying at the hotel was victim to a fire in their home. Jennifer quickly learned that the children didn’t have their toys. She rose to the occasion and brought them some of her son’s toys, so the family’s stay was more comfortable. In addition, she personally keeps greeting and sympathy cards handy for guests that are staying at the hotel for any occasion including adoptions, celebrations and even funerals. Jennifer is always making her guests feel welcome while they are away from their own homes.

Roy Chandler - ROSE Winner

Roy Chandler
Security Officer
Ameristar Casino Hotel
East Chicago, Ind.

While on security detail at Ameristar, Roy earns his guests trust with his winning personality and honesty. His communication skills and upbeat personality are reasons why he is often used as Ameristar’s number one training officer. He has also been chosen to work nearly every promotion for the last 5 years; keeping the lines flowing and earning him the title, “Promo KING.” Recently, Roy helped a guest with a dead battery in her car. After jump starting it, he made sure to clean the posts off the battery and advised the guest how to handle the car and battery when she arrived at home. The guest was ecstatic she didn’t have to call a tow truck or leave her car at the casino. This is just one example of Roy going the extra mile for our guests.

Nichole Charlene - ROSE Winner

Nichole Charlene
Auditor Clerk
Lake County Auditor’s Office
Crown Point, Ind.

Nichole received a total of five R.O.S.E. nominations from customers visiting the Auditor’s Office in Crown Point. She is described as helpful, pleasant and informative. She is an asset to our local government office and is known to go above and beyond for each customer. She not only takes time to explain the exemption process but educates her customers on the importance of keeping their files safe. One customer had to visit multiple offices, and to save the customer time, Nichole rushed around and filed all the paperwork for her. Most customers dread a trip to a government office but people like Nichole make the experience positive.

Emily Gulbrandsen - ROSE Winner

Emily Gulbrandsen
Program Lead & Bellaboo Buddy
Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center, Lake Station, Ind.

Emily’s biggest fans may be some of the hardest to please – children. She is able to get kids moving, smiling, laughing and playing in a way that is especially unique to her. She truly makes a difference in the lives of the children she encounters and because of that, letters, social media posts and comment cards come pouring in for the experiences Miss Emily creates for these young minds. She is an important part of the Bellaboo’s family – not only bringing new families in to the center, but keeping others coming back again and again. She was described as a “people magnet and joy spreader” and Bellaboo’s is “undoubtedly better by just having her around.”

Dennis Ingram - ROSE Winner

Dennis Ingram
Security GRO
Ameristar Casino Hotel
East Chicago, Ind.

Dennis may be the Security GRO at Ameristar Casino but the ones who know him best dubbed him as the casino’s “friendliness ambassador.” When someone wins the jackpot at the casino, Dennis makes sure to celebrate with his signature “happy dance.” Guests have been so inspired by his enthusiasm that they will also take part in dancing. Dennis is an integral part of the Ameristar team and is well-rounded, as he’s worked in a number of different departments - from Security to Marine. He’s valued for his hard work as well as his positive attitude, winning the Team Member of the Year Award and represents the Guest Relations Team. When Dennis is off the clock, he can be found volunteering in his community.

Connie Jacobs - ROSE Winner

Connie Jacobs
Server, Stadium Sports Bar & Grill at Ameristar Casino Hotel
East Chicago, Ind.

Multiple guests comment on Connie’s exceptional service each week and know she’s one in a million. Knowing that it takes a special experience to motivate a guest to send in a complimentary message, Connie’s manager shared one of the many comments about Connie, “We eat at the Stadium on a regular basis for lunch. The food is good and the BOGO deal is great but the reason I like to go there…is to see Connie. We came in a few weeks ago and she wasn’t there and it just was not the same. We came in this week and she was there with her big smile and fantastic service. I just thought you should know what a great employee you have. She makes everyone feel special.”

Marzette Jennings - ROSE Winner

Marzette Jennings
Front Desk Superstar
Red Roof Inn
Merrillville, Ind.

During one guests stay, she noticed Marzette multi-tasking and taking care of a number of guests commenting, “Marzette greeted me with a big smile when I came into the office to check out. I stayed in the office for an hour waiting for my ride. While I waited, I watched him provide stellar service to everyone who walked through the door; from making change for a young boy to giving directions to trying to squeeze in an extra reservation to a full-day. Marzette was helpful to everyone. During his downtime, he would sweep the lobby, fill the coffee station and check on me. Wow, what great service and I hope he is recognized for his natural ability to welcome travelers.”

Nicole Kimmet - ROSE Winner

Nicole Kimmet
Bartender and Operations Assistant
Pokro Brewing Company
Griffith, Ind.

A guest at Pokro Brewing recently wrote a Yelp review about Nicole’s superior customer service with a large group. “I was beyond impressed. The staff assisted my guests in every way – from making excellent recommendations and bringing samples to the table to going above and beyond by helping bring leftover food out to our car…I was BLOWN AWAY.” Guests are always singing her praises and this is just one example of her making her guest’s night an amazing one.

Grace Liang - ROSE Winner

Grace Liang
Table Games Dealer
Horseshoe Casino
Hammond, Ind.

Grace’s ear-to-ear grin is contagious with her co-workers and guests. Grace is the first person the staff calls should they need an interpreter for their Asian guests. She consistently builds positive rapport with her guests and they know she will look out for their best interest and be fair. She’s described as warm-hearted, knowledgeable and always willing to help. Grace was promoted to Dual Rate Supervisor and teaches classes as well. She has been encouraging other dealers to take more classes and continue their education to be exceptional employees.

LaVerne Taylor - ROSE Winner

LaVerne Taylor
Slot Attendant
Horseshoe Casino
Hammond, Ind.

LaVerne prides herself in knowing her guest and builds genuine relationships with them. Guests often take time out during their visit to fill out comment cards exclaiming how polite, considerate, and conscientious she is. LaVerne is even known to give special guests hugs and makes them feel appreciated. She doesn’t just say “Hi” and walk away, she takes the time to “circle-back” and check on each of her guests during her shift. LaVerne genuinely cares about her guests and wants them to be repeat customers.

Michelle Vidojevic - ROSE Winner

Michelle Vidojevic
Guest Service Agent
Hilton Garden Inn
Chesterton, Ind.

It is no surprise that northwest Indiana is well-known for their White Castle sandwiches. After finding out that a number of her guests with a tour group had never eaten this beloved sandwich, she called a family member to pick-up White Castle and bring it to the hotel. Michelle is always one to go above and beyond to make her guests feel at home and providing this group with White Castle is just one example of Michelle rising to the challenge of being a star employee.

Nicole Angotti - RISE Winner

Nicole Angotti
Event Manager
Radisson Star Plaza,
Merrillville, Ind.

Event planners have a stressful job and Nicole is always on hand at the Radisson to help events run smoothly for those planners. A recent conference planner commented, "I was blessed this year when Nicki was assigned as my Event Manager. This young lady came out in full-force and did an amazing job with our conference. There was not a moment she wasn’t available for us at any time. She went over the details over and over to make sure everything was just right, which I feel was the key to the conference's success. Everything was great and I'd like to thank her and her staff for the amazing flip after the Memorial Service." Nicole receives several comments like this from all the groups she works with. She is professional, helpful and committed to making everyone's event a success.

Jeffrey Clayton - RISE Winner

Jeffrey Clayton
Production Manager
The Venue at Horseshoe Casino
Hammond, Ind.

While most may not think that Jeff has a "customer-service" job and he's "back of the house," that's not true. Jeff's customers are the bands and the crew that come through week after week for concerts, and they all appreciate his hard work and attention to detail. He handles every request with calmness, ease and professionalism. Recently, when a major country star asked about gym access, Jeff knew that "we don’t have a gym" wouldn’t cut it. Within 10 minutes, he had contacted a local gym for the artist and members of her tour staff to use the facilities. This type of service makes artists and tours stop Jeff and thank him and his team for making their day smooth. From Huey Lewis, Jay Leno, Reba McEntire and beyond, they all say the same thing when they are done loading out, "Thank you."

James Drewenski - RISE Winner

James Drewenski
Rob’s Meat Chop and Deli
Dyer, Ind.

Rob’s provides the sausage for a local restaurant – usually picked up each week by restaurant staff. If the restaurant is too busy or running behind, Jim will appear at their kitchen door with the sausage in hand. He’s never too busy to help a customer out and he greets every customer who walks through the door, most by first name. He has a cheerful demeanor and provides quality advice to every customer who asks what to purchase for a BBQ, party or special event. He is one to always provide top notch service to all of his customers and leads by example. These traits are key in a hospitality leader and have not gone unnoticed by his customers.

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