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RI Hospitality Association’s Annual Awards Gala Names Category Winners

From Staff Reports

The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) set the stage for a gala return by announcing 2022 Oscar Award winners and categories. After a COVID-19 pandemic absence, the Stars of the Industry Awards will be hosted with theatrical flair at the Providence Performing Arts Center on Nov. 30.

In keeping with a new theme to mark the award gala’s return, hallmark category awards are being given an Oscar Award distinction, each selected from within the industry by RIHA’s Board of Directors.

Hosted by RIHA and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF), the awards are an annual celebration of hospitality professional excellence. Created more than 31 years ago, the Stars of the Industry Awards recognize Rhode Island-based employees in the restaurant and hospitality industries who have demonstrated professionalism in job performance and contributed to the “positive image of the hospitality industry” in the state.

The 2022 RIHA Stars of the Industry Oscar Award winners will include:

Restaurateurs of the Year
Restaurant Group: Sanjiv Dhar, India House, Inc.
Casual: Aaron DeRego, The Red Dory
Fine Dining: Robert Leonard, Coast Guard House
Coffee House: Randy Nason, Seven Stars Bakery
Brewery: Jeremy Duffy, The Guild

Hotelier of the Year (Branded): Lynne Oscarson, Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Crossings
Hotelier of the Year (Independent): David Smiley, Newport Harbor Island Resort

Chef of the Year (Restaurant): Joe Lopes, Angelo’s Civita Farnese Restaurant
Chef of the Year (Hotel): Jacob Jasinski, The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Country Club Manager of the Year: Janice Mathews, Quidnessett Country Club

Man of the Year: Anthony Pellegrino, ASH NYC (The Dean Hotel)
Woman of the Year: Kait O’Hara, Falvey Linen Supply

Vendor of the Year: Beacon Mutual Insurance
Vendor Representative of the Year: Keith Morris, Mancini Beverage

Volunteer of the Year: Vinny Costable, Gordon Food Service and TR McGrath, McGrath Clambakes & Catering

Mary Brennan Tourism Award: Providence River Boat Company

Lifetime Achievement Award: H. Robert Bacon, Gregg’s Restaurants & Taverns

Hospitality Ambassadors of the Year
Media: Jamie Coelho, Rhode Island Monthly and Steve Klamkin, WPRO
Legislators: Rep. Carol McEntee and Sen. Joshua Miller
Community: Lauren Slocum, Central RI Chamber of Commerce and John Gibbons, Rhode Island Sports Council

RIHA Chairman’s Award: Sean Kennedy, National Restaurant Association
President’s Award: William and Susan DeAngelus, Twin Oaks Restaurant
Education Foundation Chairman’s Award: Director Matthew Weldon, Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training
Teacher of the Year: Sara Reilly, CharihoTech
Student of the Year: Sabina Ulysse, Exeter Job Corps Academy
Education Partnership of the Year: RI Public Transit Authority
Education Ambassador of the Year: Michael Sabitoni, Johnson & Wales University

Additionally, there are more than 20 categories of awards to be announced during the event, including Restaurant Employee of the Year, Bartender of the Year and Emerging Leader of the Year, with two to three nominations allowed per category. Individual finalists are nominated by management, co-workers and customers, with winners receiving a trophy to take home. More than 900 guests typically attend the annual end-of-year awards gala.

“After taking a multi-year hiatus due to the pandemic, we are so happy to bring the best of Rhode Island’s hospitality industry together,” said Dale Venturini, President and CEO, RIHA. “Now, more than ever, our industry needs a reason to celebrate – and the 2022 Stars of the Industry event is the perfect opportunity to have fun and enjoy all that we’ve gotten through together.”

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