Every month, the Williston Convention and Visitors Bureau honors those individuals in the hospitality industry who go above and beyond to keep visitors returning to our area. The CVB believes that customer service goes a long way in a community like Williston, and they want to make sure outstanding individuals get the recognition they deserve.

The CVB takes nominations monthly for the Hospitality Leader and Hospitality Employee of the month, recognizing those who have shown remarkable service in their positions. The CVB is honoring employees for June and July for their continued hard work and dedication.

June honorees

Hospitality Leader of the Month: Darien Rossi – Hawthorn Suites

Nominated by: Resa Kramer, Manager

“Darien Rossi is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever had the privilege of meeting. In the almost three years that she has been here, she has continued to push herself and her team to be the best they can be. She is more than willing to come in on her days off when the housekeepers are slammed with multiple blocks checking out.

She also stays late to make sure laundry is getting folded so there isn’t so much for the front desk night shift. Her hard work doesn’t stop at helping her co-workers, she also continuously goes above and beyond to make sure all the guests’ needs are taken care of. I have witnessed her about to clock out after a long day, and overhear a guest asking front desk if housekeeping could stop by the next day, and offering to take care of their room before she leaves for the day.

We have had many compliments about Darien and her bright smile and infectious laugh, as well as her eagerness to put the guest first. So much so that she has recently expressed interest and started learning some of the front desk aspects to further be able to help a guest who may happen to stop by when the front desk agent is not at the desk. She never slows down and always finds something to keep herself busy.

With her encouragement and leadership we have had almost the same housekeeping team for over a year. Darien is the type of leader you hope for when applying for a job, look up to when you get hired, and you remember when you move on. We are extremely lucky to have her as part of our crew.”

• Hospitality Employee of the Month: Housekeeping Dept – Ramada

• Nominated by: Jerry Jacobson, General Manager

“Like all area hotels, the oil market collapse and Covid-19 health issues had an extreme negative impact on business. Even before the concept of the national Payroll Protection Program became a reality, Ramada Williston Airport XWA made the decision to make every effort possible to retain full employment of the hotel’s staff.

With the decrease in guest room use, the hotel decided to commence with a plan to convert 54 guest rooms into accommodations with two beds. The housekeeping staff personally handled the entire project beginning with stripping the rooms of old mattresses and frames to prepare the rooms for new bedding, refreshed the rooms with a new paint décor. Once new mattress and frames arrived, the housekeeping staff executed the installation of new bed frames, mattresses as well as installing new custom headboards.

During this ‘down time’, the housekeeping department has executed deep carpet cleaning in 240 guest rooms as well as close to one half mile of corridor carpets, a total of nearly 100,000 square feet of carpets being cleaned. The housekeeping team has gone on to apply new paint and color decor to nearly 20,000 square feet of corridors over four floors. Housekeepers continue to go room by room to find other areas that require attention.

And through all this, the housekeeping department continued to service all guest rooms, public space and implement additional rigorous cleaning protocols related to minimizing the risk of Covid-19 exposure to the hotel’s guests and fellow staff members.”

July honorees

• Hospitality Leader of the Month: Daniella Espinoza, Hawthorn Suites

• Nominated by: Resa Kramer, Manager

“Daniella has been with our crew for almost a year now and her impact on the team and our guests has been significant. She always greets the guests with a bright smile and tons of personality. She has gone out of her way many times to make sure everything is as close to perfect for our guests as possible. She has taken time out of her personal day to pick up cookies or cupcakes to bring for the guests to enjoy throughout her shift. She has continuously tried to keep everyone smiling, including guests when they come in.

She has a unique way of making everyone feel like they are part of our family, which is something I have heard multiple times since she joined us. She continues to bring new and fresh ideas on how to improve the quality for the guests during their stay. Daniella will always adjust her schedule to what we are needing help when something happens to another team member, whether it be someone was sick or had something come up that didn’t allow them to appear for their shift. Our team would definitely not be the same without her.”

• Hospitality Employee of the Month: Kate Reynolds

• Nominated by: Joseph Dora

“Kate goes above and beyond in every way. When we had a guest that was looking for a dog walker, she volunteered to take his dog on her own time. She is always early to her shifts and covers for her fellow employees anytime she is asked. She helps with housekeeping more than what would typically be expected and never complains.

She is always pleasant to the guests regardless of her own struggles, to the point that you would wonder if she even had any. She is attentive and thoughtful, kind and patient. She goes above and beyond to help and shows an ever-present desire to learn more every day. Our hotel would be overall less without her presence.”

Individuals recognized as the Leader and Employee of the Month are nominated by their peers, managers, and others they meet daily.If you know someone in the hospitality industry who deserves recognition, email Ashley Oyloe at the Williston Convention and Visitors Bureau at ashleyo@ci.williston.nd.us to receive a nomination form.

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