Award Winners

Congratulations to all of the 2020 R.O.S.E. and R.I.S.E. Award winners! Have you received extraordinary customer service? 
Nominate them here.

R.O.S.E. Winners

Chana Thompson

Stadium Sports Bar & Grill, Ameristar
East Chicago

Chana is described as "a ray of sunshine with a can-do attitude." She takes great pride in serving her customers and remembers her regular customers' food and drink preferences. She often has their beverage order processed before approaching the table. Numerous customers will wait until they can be seated in her section, so they can enjoy her signature service. One guest commented, "We travel extensively and no matter where we go, we compare the service we receive to this employee – and she is always tops." According to her manager, she receives compliments frequently from guests and that this nomination is long overdue.

Samantha Farler

Merrillville Florist & Tea Room

Samantha comes from a business that has recently gone through a change in ownership. A mainstay in the community for decades; a portion of the business remained closed for 18 months. This former server approached the new owners – eager to come back. Because of her commitment, the reopening of the restaurant was a huge success. Samantha didn't just show up, punch a clock, wait tables and go home. She stepped in to help re-establish procedures and operations to make sure the eatery was a well-oiled machine, ready for customers, both new and returning. The reopening was just before the holidays, which meant people were interested in re-establishing their traditional lunch reservations and parties. She helped the owners and staff maneuver through an overwhelming rush and a number of sold out days. She sets the bar for an experience customers appreciate and now come to expect. Samantha is a true leader in the workplace and guests are always singing her praises.

Patricia Scott

Slot Attendant
Majestic Star Casino

A veteran of the hospitality industry, Patricia has 24 years on the job at Majestic Star Casino. Guests know her by name and she has her own fan club of guests of all ages and backgrounds. She demonstrates friendly and generous service to each and every guest to who visits. She makes them feel like family and never misses an opportunity to engage a new customer or build on an existing relationship. One guest in particular has a speech impediment – who has been a guest for years. Most employees don't engage with him because he mumbles making it hard for others to understand. But, not Patricia. She takes the time to approach him and patiently listens to him. By the time she walks away, the guest has completely changed ... smiling, talkative and overall happy. She does the same for fellow co-workers. An employee that was hired as an Asian attendant had a number of language barriers with guests. Patricia immediately took her under her wing and for months helped her, engaged her and helped her master her new job duties. Patricia shows others how to overcome barriers with confidence, all without being asked or told to do so. You'll often find Patricia on the floor dancing, joking and entertaining guests ... always with a smile and heart of gold attitude. She's someone who loves their job, who loves people and understands the value of providing superb guest service from her first year to her twenty-fourth.

Alexa Cano

Special Events Coordinator
Mascot Hall of Fame

Millennials often get a bad rap but not this one! A favorite at Mascot Hall of Fame, Alexa is beyond her years. During the pandemic she spent hours cleaning, helped with inventory, and has been all-hands-on-deck with technical support – even helping the older generation with ZOOM calls. If there's a meeting, she's the one to bring coffee and donuts and has been the creative mind behind the majority of the attraction's social media engagement campaigns. A regular guest at MHOF had a themed birthday party planned for March. Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled. That didn't stop this employee from going all out. Alexa thought of every way she could make this young guest feel the love from his favorite place! She bought him presents and decorated her car to drive by his home for a birthday parade. She also had him featured on a weekly social media video for kids. She continued to keep in contact with the guest and his mother, so he could feel special. In her free time, Alexa volunteers with several not-for-profits and she helps with the local food pantry.

Karen Jones

Tiebel's Restaurant

When the nomination committee receives a nomination from a customer, it's a bit more special. When a customer takes time to write in a nomination, it usually means they've truly impacted them in a positive way. This customer said, "Every time we dine here, we request Karen. She is exceptionally attentive and really makes our dining experience a great one. She remembers our past preferences and is super kind and attentive to everyone – even our most difficult relatives (HAHA!). I tell everyone to request her when they are dining here." When asked about Karen her manager said, "She is the best server we have ever had. When our dining room reopened after the shutdown, she requested to be the only server in the room to make guests feel more comfortable. Masked and maintaining proper cleaning protocols, she handled the entire dining room and did not skip a beat!”

Izayah Edwards

Service Clerk
Jewel Osco
Crown Point

You may have read about Izayah as his story made its way around social media. Only one month on the job, as he was bagging groceries for an elderly customer, he noticed the customer was short of money on her order. The elderly woman was making the decision to put items back so she would have enough for her order. Without hesitation, this employee pulled out his wallet and offered her $20.00 to make up the difference. All of this was caught on camera by another customer and posted to her Facebook page to show others how kind this employee was. The story had already gone viral and Izayah had to make his own Facebook account to see what all the commotion was about. He insists that he didn't do anything special, he was just doing "what was right." He was quoted as saying, "I told her I wasn't doing this to get paid or reimbursed. I just want to help you."

R.I.S.E. Winners

Natalie Garza

Visitor Experience Manager
Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center
Lake Station

Natalie works with children, the best audience because they do not tolerate phoniness. She is mobbed like a rock star exiting their tour bus when children arrive and leave. She scours her wardrobe for any themed days at the center – for just the right fit. She'll re-work, re-write and transform programs to match the energy of the group and to help every child excel. Caring for children always comes first. Natalie has band-aided more scrapes, soothed more burns, cleaned more *accidents* and wiped as many tears as a full-time teacher, which is only 1/10th of her everyday duties. Her desk is adorned with pictures and treasures her guests have made her. She really sees every. single. child. She gets to their level and makes eye contact and she connects with them. She's described as, "not above and beyond, but in a league of her own." Natalie's managers know that she is the best and Bellaboo's is one-million times better because of her.

Sonja Dectelides

Director of Human Resources
Majestic Star Casino

Sonja's story is truly a tale about how our community came together to help each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's not about traditional customer service, but about how one employee can make a difference. During the shutdown her company furloughed 850 employees. Sonja called each one of them to comfort them and provide any support she could. Working in human resources, she also kept all the employees personally updated with their unemployment benefits and assisted with questions about the application process. If an employee became sick, she would arrange, all on her own, baskets of goodies, grocery items and phone calls. One team member fell ill and had no support at home. Sonja was right there, personally purchasing snacks, healthy foods and books to have delivered to the employee. The employee was so grateful he commented, "I was so shocked when HR delivered the care package to my door. They knew I couldn't leave and made sure I had the things I needed. It was the most kind, unselfish, generous thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I was humbled and it feels like family." Sonja's commitment to her team doesn't stop and her dedication has really surfaced during the pandemic. A coworker wrote, "Never have I met anyone as energetic, engaging and technically solid in the Human Resource field, who also puts their heart and soul into everything they do."