CONCORD — The New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association recently shared the winners of its Stars of the Industry Awards. The annual awards recognize the outstanding individuals and businesses of the hospitality industry.

“Each year I am so impressed and humbled by our Stars of the Industry Award winners - and this year is no exception,” said NHLRA President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Somers. “Their passion and dedication, both to their customers and to their careers, have had such a positive impact on their peers and communities. This incredible group of winners is especially fitting for NHLRA's 100th year celebration,” said Somers.

Awards will be presented Nov. 4, at the Stars of the Industry dinner at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort.

Award winners are:

Restaurant Employee of the Year - Willow Furey, Great New Hampshire Restaurants. As dining room manager of T-Bones in Laconia, Willow is an exceptional leader inside the restaurant and out. Volunteering endless hours for several community organizations in the Lakes Region, she sets a tremendous example to all of her staff and peers of what a true team player is all about.

Rising Star - Nicole White, The Common Man. As general manager of Town Docks Restaurant, White posted record-breaking sales in her first six months. She is blazing a path in the state hospitality industry, not only for sales records, but for her firm, fair, and consistent treatment of the employees she manages.

Lifetime Achievement - George Lawrence, Red Arrow Diner. All employees are asked by Lawrence, “Did you make it better today?” For over 44 years, he has made the dining scene better with a career starting with Belmont Hall in 1974. Beyond business, Lawrence is known for treating his team like family and developing their talents, including his daughter Carol Lawrence, owner and president of Red Arrow Diner.

Chef of the Year - Zach Smith, Flag Hill Catering and Events LLC. In two years, Smith reduced food cost and waste by three precent for Flag Hill. His determination to create exceptional food has not gone unnoticed by the public. Since he started, Flag Hill began selling out their monthly public dinners and brunches over two months in advance.

Restauranteur of the Year - Vito Marcello, Vito Marcello’s Italian Bistro. Instrumental in bringing the first-ever Food & Wine event to Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, Marcello is on a mission to bring tourism to New Hampshire.

Innkeeper of the Year - Jack and Andrea Carnevale, Bedford Village Inn. Serving world-class food in an historic farmhouse, the Carnevales are deeply involved in the daily running of the property. Their employees attest to feeling inspired to be as humble as the couple.

Lodging Employee of the Year - Jared Broider, Resident Inn by Marriott-Concord. Broider started at the front desk in 2012 and worked his way up to operations manager based on his positive attitude and determination to provide the best experience for his guests. Known for exceeding goals while being short-staffed, Broider has worked many long days without complaint.

Allied Member of the Year - Rick Spalding, High Liner Foods. Spalding and his seafood supply brand are avid supporters and advocates for NHLRA education programs. Whether he's providing mentoring, judging the NH ProStart competition, or sitting on the board of the NHLRA Education Foundation, Spalding is always there to support the next generation of the hospitality industry.

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