Lexington, KY - VisitLEX, the Bluegrass Hospitality Association (BHA) and the Bluegrass Tourism and Marketing Association (BTMA) teamed up to present the inaugural Lexington Hospitality Awards today during the annual BHA Tourism Forum luncheon.

The Lexington Hospitality Awards honor front-line staff and volunteers in the tourism and hospitality industry in Lexington who have demonstrated exceptional service. In total, 39 individuals were nominated from Lexington hotels, Blue Grass Airport, restaurants, Lexington Center and attractions. All nominees were recognized and received a certificate of appreciation at the BHA Tourism Forum luncheon.

In recognition of the crucial role front line staff play in a destination's success, VisitLEX, BHA and BTMA are excited to announce the 12 recipients of the inaugural Service Excellence Awards. Each winner received an engraved crystal award at today's luncheon.

And the winners are:

Keith Allen - Hyatt Regency Lexington, Bell Captain
Martha Bersot - Kentucky Horse Park, Office Support Assistant
Ed Brand - Blue Grass Airport, Guest Services Assistant & Receptionist
Dianna DeLara - Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa, Front Desk Clerk
Iverson Griffin - OBC Kitchen, Server
Mary Jo Holland - Lexington Opera House, Floor Captain/Usher
Tina Kohrs - Embassy Suites, Sales Coordinator
Julie Mora - Dudley's on Short, Bartender
Charlie Muntz - Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, Volunteer Docent
Peggy Prang - Holiday Inn Express, Breakfast Attendant
Sandy Ritchie - Josie's, Server
Cordell Weatherford - Town Branch Distillery, Tour Guide

Mary Quinn Ramer, VisitLEX president, recently stated: "We are incredibly pleased to honor this group of outstanding individuals! It is the people working in Lexington's tourism industry that truly make our destination memorable for visitors and create life-long fans of our city. Their dedication to attentive customer service and to gracious hospitality was overwhelmingly evident in their nomination forms."

Images available by contacting Niki Heichelbech-Goldey at enh@visitlex.com