Hospitality Heroes

The Hospitality Hero Recognition Program is the Explore St. Louis frontline employee recognition program designed to stimulate and reward exceptional service by hospitality industry employees. Frontliners who best exemplify our community’s ongoing commitment to great service are designated Hospitality Heroes.

Nominations are solicited from management of hospitality industry companies each June and judged by a panel of customer service experts. Of these nominations, the frontline employees who, in addition to giving high quality guest service, go a step farther to WOW a guest by rising to an unexpected occasion and pulling out all the stops to come to a positive and memorable resolution are named Super Heroes. Nominees are recognized annually during the Explore St. Louis Annual Meeting.

2016 Hospitality Super Heroes

View the video below to see the 2016 Super Heroes and their “WOW” moment.

Andra BruemmerAndrea Bruemmer, Conciege 

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch

A couple was in town for a wedding. The woman ran into problems when the zipper on her dress broke. Unable to fix it, she called Andrea for immediate help. Andrea brought a small sewing kit to the room and directed the husband to go to the wedding. Realizing the dress couldn’t be saved, Andrea called her mom to bring down several of her own dresses. The guest selected one and it fit. Andrea’s mom insisted on driving her to the wedding since there was so much traffic. The guest arrived on time to enjoy the ceremony.


Rodney BorowiakRodney Borowiak, Bell Attendant 
River City Casino & Hotel

As frequent guests of the hotel, a couple told Rod about their granddaughter’s upcoming birthday. The little girl was there the next week to celebrate. Rod put together a birthday surprise for the preschooler, complete with a stuffed Elmo and a tiara.



Blendi MullalliBlendi Mullalli, Valet and Bell Luggage Attendant
The Westin St. Louis

A mother with three girls, one in a wheelchair, came to Blendi pleading for help to get her girls to a concert at Scottrade Center. No vehicles for hire could accommodate her daughter’s wheelchair and would not be able to get close to the arena to drop them off. Blendi got the hotel’s golf cart to take the group. He put the handicapped child in the cart while the others piled in. He secured the wheelchair and off they went to the concert, driving through traffic, and delivering the grateful group of girls.


Yong Ae WatsonYong Ae Waston, Restaurant Server 
Doubletree by Hilton St. Louis at Westport

On a cold winter day, there was a small fire on an upper floor of the hotel. Guests were quickly evacuated. While the fire department extinguished the fire, Yong Ae attended to the guests in the bitter cold. She stayed in the kitchen as long as she was allowed, making pots of coffee and hot chocolate to distribute to the guests. Yong Ae handed out the hot beverages to the guests and eased their concerns while they waited.


Tia HendersonTia Henderson, Tour Guide
Bi-State Development Agency/Gateway Arch

A family was in line for the tram to go to the top of the Gateway Arch. The daughter was scared, but Tia gave her a pep talk and encouraged her to be brave. Tia told the little girl if she was brave to come and see her for a surprise. While the family was up in the Arch, Tia went to the Museum Shop and purchased a stuff animal with her own money. The excited little girl returned and was delighted to receive such a thoughtful gift.


Katie SteinmanKatie Steinman, Sales Administrative Assistance 
Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel

A grandmother contacted Katie, as she wanted to create some special memories for her granddaughter’s honeymoon stay. Katie went to work coordinating with many departments to fulfill the grandmother’s wishes: champagne and strawberries in the room; delivery of a special honeymoon bag for the couple’s arrival; getting an extra chair; having the chef put together a getaway breakfast and an early morning shuttle pick up.


Henry FordHenry Ford, Shuttle Driver 
Super Park at

St. Louis Lambert International Airport

Henry picked up a seasoned traveler and proceeded to drive him to the terminal for his flight. While on the shuttle, the gentleman pulled out his phone and an envelope containing a large sum of cash. Upon arrival, the traveler left the envelope behind as he exited the shuttle. Henry found it and raced through the airport to find the gentleman and returned it.


Jackson LongJackson Long, Catering Captain, Server and Maintaince Manager
Patty Long Catering Co.

Just before going down the aisle, a bride got the heel of her shoe caught in an air vent grate. Her bridesmaid was able to get the shoe free, but then dropped it down the air duct. Being familiar with the HVAC system for the Abbey, Jackson went to the basement and, on his hands and knees, crawled to the vent through the dirty crawl space and retrieved the shoe.

Diana WadeDiana Wade, Room Service Server 
Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel

A couple was in town to celebrate their fiftieth (50th) wedding anniversary. While they had done plenty of sightseeing, they were looking to do something a bit more relaxed. Diana took it upon herself to be their personal butler for the night in the Concierge Lounge, arranging for champagne and the same meal the couple had on their wedding night


Charmaine Duff (left) and Denise McDile (Right)Charmaine Duff, Public Area Attendant and Denise McDile, Uniform Room Seamstress 
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch

A visitor from Atlanta boarded MetroLink. She sat down and placed her carry-on beneath the seat in front of her. When Charmaine got on, the woman offered the seat next to her. They struck up a conversation and soon it was time to depart. The woman got off the train and realized she left her bag behind. Charmaine asked the others, but the bag didn’t belong to anyone, so she took the bag with her to the hotel and went down to the uniform room to get Denise’s help. After scouring the web, they found the woman’s number and were able to reunite her with the bag.