Boise hospitality ‘ROSE’ winners to be announced April 5

admin//March 28, 2023

Boise hospitality ‘ROSE’ winners to be announced April 5

admin//March 28, 2023

Recognition of Service Excellence Visit Boise announced the finalists for its Recognition of Service Excellence (ROSE) Awards honoring exceptional employees in the tourism and hospitality industry. The awards recognize those who positively enhance visitor experiences with their enthusiasm and exemplary service. Winners will be announced on April 5 at a ceremony from 6-9 pm at the Morrison Center.

“These awards are important because hospitality employees are the first point of reference for a lot of visitors that come to the area,” said Carrie Westergard, executive director of Visit Boise. “Either the very first time or as a repeat guest, they give visitors their first impression of Boise. So, we want to elevate and recognize those who are doing their jobs exceptionally well and carry that forward.”

The hospitality industry is the third largest industry in Idaho after agriculture and technology and generates more than $1.9 billion in direct travel spending in Southwest Idaho. Idaho’s tourism industry has recovered well since the pandemic. The state is up 9 percent in passenger travel from 2019 numbers with almost 4.5 million travelers. Group and event business for 2023 is on pace to be a record year, surpassing 2019 numbers.

Visit Boise’s Spirit of Hospitality Award will be given to Dan Prinzing, Director (retired) of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. He is being honored for his stewardship of the Anne Frank Memorial and the Wassmuth Center’s educational programs that create unique experiences for visitors and residents alike. Spirit of Hospitality recognizes one who consistently and positively contributes to the betterment of our community, their organization and the hospitality industry overall.

This year, Visit Boise adds a staff selected Community Impact Award. This award recognizes one individual who made a significant contribution to the community. This 2023 Community Impact Award will honor Pam Draper, ODP Administrator at Idaho Youth Soccer Association. Draper has elevated Boise as an elite youth soccer destination. She has successfully brought the U.S. Youth Soccer’s Far West Regional Championships to Boise for several years in a row. The Far West Championship is the largest event Boise hosts, adds more than $11 million to the local economy and supports nearly 2,000 jobs.

Other category finalists:


  • Bill Ottinger, Guest Services Agent, Hampton Inn & Suites Boise Spectrum
  • Eleanor Block, Server/Bartender, Hilton Garden Inn Boise Spectrum
  • Jeremy Crain, Front Desk Agent, Fairfield Inn & Suites Boise


  • Emily Ford, Visitor Services Representative, Idaho State Museum
  • Megan Stoll, Marketing, Duck Club/Treefort
  • Samantha Maxey, Owner/Operator, Snake River Wine Tours
  • Shawn Welsh, Owner/ Tour Operator, Boise Bicycle Tours

Bar/ Tasting Room

  • Lauren Askarnia, Wine Ambassador, Telaya Wine Co.
  • Railli Kowall, Wine Ambassador, Telaya Wine Co.
  • Ryan Hutchinson, Wine Ambassador, Potter Wines

Behind the Scenes

  • Don Porter, Parks Infrastructure Equip Op, Parks and Rec/City of Boise
  • Fareed Jajo, Housekeeping, Downtown Boise Treasure Valley Family YMCA
  • Rudy Oliver, Housekeeping, West Boise Treasure Valley Family YMCA

Dining/ Caterers

  • Angel Cruz-Gomez, Banquet Captain, The Riverside Hotel
  • Anthony Hansen Mairs, Server, The James Boise
  • Ryan Budenbohm, Bartender/Server, Richard’s


  • Jaime Galego, Retail Associate, Banana Ink (former employee)
  • Norma Jean Weimer, Clerk/Cashier, BSU C-Store (Chartwells)
  • Sandra Allen, Sales Associate, Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail


  • Garrett Smith, Driver, UPS
  • Jamie Talan, Owner/Driver, Idaho Towncar
  • Lika Knight, Teacher/Bus Driver, Treasure Valley Family YMCA


  • Elaine Grossaint, Volunteer, Morrison Center
  • John Heimer, Volunteer Ambassador, Treasure Valley Family YMCA
  • John Holsman, Museum Ambassador, Idaho State Museum

Manager of the Year

  • Kevin Blakeslee, Cider Crew Manager, Meriwether Cider
  • Steve Lively, Executive Sous Chef, Boise Centre
  • Tomas Gallardo, Maintenance Manager, Hampton Inn & Suites Boise Spectrum

2023 ROSE Award Judges

2023 judges were selected prior to opening public voting

  • Adam Altwies, Inn at 500 (Visit Boise Board Chair)
  • Sean Briggs, Boise Airport (Visit Boise Board Member)
  • Hart Gilchrist, Intermountain Gas (Visit Boise Board Member)/Christi Rood, CWI
  • Sophie Sestero, Treasure Valley Family YMCA (Visit Boise Board Member)
  • Jennifer Hensley, Downtown Boise Association
  • Kelly Jenkins, Enterprise Car Rental (Travel Industry Advisory Board Chair/SKAL International Boise)