The ballroom at Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago was filled on Wednesday evening with nearly 200 hospitality industry professionals to honor fifteen winners of the ROSE and RISE Awards, presented by the South Shore CVA.

Approximately 100 nominations for the annual ROSE Awards program were received by the ROSE selection committee this year. The exceptional front-line and managerial employees were whittled down to 31 finalists. The one dozen ROSE Award winners and three RISE Award winners are as follows:

2015 R.O.S.E. Winners


Bruce Alston, Server, Cashier, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Hammond
Victoria Caper, Security Officer, Ameristar Casino Hotel, East Chicago
Santino Cordilla, Server, Ameristar Casino Hotel, East Chicago
Christopher Devenport, Banquet Captain, Horseshoe Casino, Hammond
Vojo Duvnjak, Table Games, Majestic Star Casino & Hotel, Gary
Janis Frysztak, Guest Services Representative, Radisson Hotel Star Plaza, Merrillville
Jane Gayheart, Server, Shady Creek Winery, Michigan City
Carmen Gomez, Bus Person, Horseshoe Casino, Hammond
Fred Jurcak, Maintenance Engineer, Hilton Garden Inn, Merrillville
Charlene Koreen, Buffet Cook, Ameristar Casino Hotel, East Chicago
Rosemary Kouloumbris, Diamond Lounge Server, Horseshoe Casino, Hammond
Lenore Rodriguez, Banquets Server, Horseshoe Casino, Hammond



2015 R.I.S.E. Winners
Tammy Hartrunft, Housekeeping Supervisor, Hilton Garden Inn, Chesterton
Latasha Johnson, Slot Floor Supervisor, Ameristar Casino Hotel, East Chicago
Chuck Sanford, Supervisor, Horseshoe Casino, Hammond


Dwayne Walker, owner of ChicagoLand Popcorn in Merrillville, and Speros A. Batistatos, President and CEO for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, hosted the evening and announced the winners on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Ameristar Casino Hotel in East Chicago.

The ROSE Awards were created to honor the front-line employees who go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis. Most often, the customer has more interaction with the front-desk employee than an owner or manager. These front-line service employees are those that can have a lasting impression on the visitor.

For the second year, the South Shore CVA presented RISE (Recognition of Industry Success and Excellence) Awards. The RISE Awards honor managerial employees that have risen above expectations and interact directly with customers on a regular basis, or past ROSE Awards winners who have again exceeded expectations.

ROSE and RISE nominations for front-line and managerial employees are accepted year-round at