Grand Rapids, Mich. – Experience Grand Rapids (EXGR), the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) and the Kent County Hospitality Association (KCHA) announced the 2019 winners of the 12th Annual WAVE (Way Above Visitor Expectations) Awards on Thursday, November 21st. The WAVE Awards is a program that recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry.

A judging panel evaluated the nominees on a set of criteria, including the individual’s attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. Winners were selected in the categories of Restaurants & Breweries, Attraction & Events, Lodging 150+ Rooms, Lodging Less than 150 Rooms, Retail & Service, and Volunteer in Hospitality.

Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTA) were also recognized at the WAVE Award Celebration for their commitment to improving the customer experience. The CTA Program educates individuals on Grand Rapids and the importance of exceptional customer service to the area.

2019 winners include:

  • Restaurants & Breweries: Corey Bush, Kitchen 67
  • Lodging 150+ Rooms: Lindsay Jarvis, Hyatt Place Grand Rapids Downtown
  • Lodging Less than 150 Rooms: Peggy Clocklin, Holiday Inn Express Grand Rapids North
  • Retail & Service: Madison Martinez, Grand Rapids Downtown Market
  • Attractions & Events: Erica Crebb, 20 Monroe Live
  • The Nina Fox Volunteer in Hospitality Award: Landon Bartley, City of Grand Rapids
  • CTA Stars of the Year: Karen Bezemek and Bernadene Francis

The six hospitality winners will also be nominated in their respective categories for the Stars of the Industry Awards. The winners will be announced at the 2020 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference, which is the annual industry gathering of tourism and lodging leaders hosted by Travel Michigan and the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (MACVB).

More information about the WAVE Awards is available at

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