The ballroom of The Center for Visual and Preforming Arts was filled on Wednesday night as more than 200 hospitality industry professionals came together to celebrate exemplary customer service at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority's annual ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Awards Dinner.

Close to 100 nominations for the annual ROSE Awards were received by the ROSE selection committee this year. The exceptional front-line employees were whittled down to 35 finalists and the one dozen winners are as follows:

2013 R.O.S.E. Award Winners

Kimberly Uzelac - 54 Main Bistro Hobart, Ind

Gina Desadier - Ameristar Casino East Chicago, Ind

Rebecca Jones - Cabela's Hammond, Ind

Lillian Soto - Comfort Inn & Suites Porter, Ind

Linda Fiorenzo - Hampton Inn Merrillville, Ind

Ray Matheny - Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton, Ind

Dawn Gomez - Horseshoe Casino Hammond, Ind

Latoya Stubbs - Horseshoe Casino Hammond, Ind

Trent Pendley - Martin Binder Jewelry Valparaiso, Ind

Matthew Baker - Radisson Hotel Merrillville, Ind

Margaret Ulloa - Teibel's Family Restaurant Schererville, Ind

Jill Albright  - The Free Enterprise System Lansing, Ill

Mark Newman, Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) executive director, and Speros A. Batistatos, President and CEO for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, hosted the evening and announced the winners on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana.

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.

The ROSE Awards are presented annually by the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority. ROSE nominations for front-line employees are accepted year-round at