2008 Professional of the Year

Karen Maravilla, President of the Downtown Hammond Council was named Professional of the Year for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority's 2008 Hospitality Awards. Maravilla serves as the President of the Downtown Hammond Council, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Munster Chamber of Commerce and Marketing/Public Relations Director for El Taco Real restaurant in Hammond.

It is under Maravilla's leadership of the Downtown Hammond Council, and the creation of special events centered around Hammond's Downtown, that the city is seeing opportunities for future growth and economic development.

As Board Chairman for the Munster Chamber of Commerce, Karen oversees the progressive strategies and implementation set by the Board of Directors. Maravilla has also created several successful marketing and public relations campaigns for El Taco Real restaurant.

Maravilla's significant contributions to the hospitality industry and South Shore business community made her an outstanding choice for the 2008 Professional of the Year.

Other organizations and professionals were awarded at the 2008 Holiday Reception where more than 250 hospitality and elected officials gathered at the Indiana Welcome Center.


2008 Restaurant of the Year- Asparagus, Merrillville

2008 Attraction of the Year- The Venue, Horseshoe Casino Hammond

2008 Festival of the Year- Covered Bridge Harvest Fest, Crown Point

2008 Sports Event of the Year- Midwest Regional League, 1st District Playoffs

2008 Facility of the Year- Olympia Lanes

2008 Hotel of the Year- Hilton Garden Inn, Chesterton

2008 Elected Official of the Year- Gerry Scheub, Lake County Commissioner