More than 250 local business leaders, elected officials and hospitality professionals gathered to celebrate the holiday and a year of good cheer at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. Each year, at the holiday reception, the South Shore CVA honors outstanding individuals and businesses that represent the hospitality industry and help further the tourism industry along the South Shore. This year marked the 33rd annual celebration.

The following individuals and businesses were recognized for their efforts at the 2016 Reception:


Hampton Inn and Suites, Hammond
2016 Hotel of the Year




DOC's Smokehouse and Craft Bar, Dyer
2016 Restaurant of the Year




Dan Plath, Northwest Indiana Paddlers Assoc.
2016 Outstanding Individual Contribution




The Nature Conservancy Kankakee Sands, Morocco 
2016 Bring it Home Hero




Carol Drasga, Crown Point City Council
2016 Elected Official of the Year




Robert Nickovich, Lake County Parks Department
Chester F. Dobis - Lifetime Achievement Award




The Honorable Earline Rogers, Indiana Senate District 3
Chester F. Dobis - Lifetime Achievement Award


"Each year we honor businesses that have made substantial improvements and contributed to the hospitality industry to improve the region for residents as well as visitors," said Speros A. Batistatos, President/CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.

Photos available on request.