For 33 years, the Indianapolis hospitality industry has come together to honor those who make our city the welcoming place we know and love. By going beyond the expectations of their job descriptions, these service champions leave lasting impressions that bring true meaning to the phrase “Hoosier Hospitality.” 

On May 9, we honored 93 nominees and celebrated nine winners at the 33rd Annual ROSE Awards Presented by Citizens Energy Group. ROSE is an acronym for "Recognition of Service Excellence," and when asked what hospitality meant to these 93 honorees, it was clear that ensuring our city is known for world-class service is top of mind for those that move our industry forward.



Without further ado, presenting the winners of the 33rd Annual ROSE Awards Presented by Citizens Energy Group.

Chris Min

Dual Group Housing Supervisor for Marriott IndyPlace

Chris Win is the Dual Group Housing Supervisor for Marriott IndyPlace for the past nine years. In his tenure, he has maintained a track record of zero mistakes. With 6 hotels, 2,284 total hotel rooms and 365 days of the year, he navigates an algorithm of 833,660 possible hotel reservations each year. He takes a tangled web of rooming lists and hotel reservations, masterfully untangles them to create a perfectly finished puzzle of thousands of hotel check-ins and check-outs. In on particular instance, a repeat convention client, United Rentals, returned to Indy and gave Chris a challenging task. He was presented a complex housing block with different accounts divided by room types with separate patterns. Launch dates and billing types were all different. The result of the room block request consisted of 778 pages of housing details – all compiled by Chris. The client review the details and returned the 778 pages with no corrections. Not one.

“Anyone in housing would tell you he is remarkable. Unheard of. His intentionally and precision to his job is unmatched.”

Eric Jakowczyk

Kitchen Cook at Spoke & Steele at Le Meriden

Eric serves as the backbone of Spoke & Steele's pre-dawn breakfast shift. At Le Meriden, there is a frequent guest who stays there ten nights a month. He's now to be a bit challenging, but Eric is always up for the task. He will proactively check the dates of this guests’ stay and ensure he’s on the clock during those days. Knowing this guests’ preferences, Eric will open up a portion of the restaurant that is not typically open for breakfast and have this guests’ table set ahead of his standard 7 am arrival.

Not only does Eric embody hospitality, he truly has compassion. When his newborn nephew, Henry Clayton, suffered from a life-threatening medical condition, Eric dedicated his early mornings to his guests at the restaurant and his evenings to being hospital bedside with his nephew. When days stretched into weeks at the hospital, baby Henry’s dad was forced to lose his job to care for his son. With love and compassion, Eric took it upon himself to launch a GoFundMe to help cover bills until his brother was able to get back to work and baby Henry back home.

“When you have a teammate who treats his hospitality family with the care and support he treats his own family, it's evident that you're in the presence of someone with a heart of gold.

Mayra Castillo

Assistant Housekeeper at the Town Places Suites Airport

For the past 20 years, Mayra Castillo was always known for going above and beyond for hotel guests. For example, after cleaning a hotel guests’ room throughout the duration of their month-long stay, she recognized how ill the hotel guest was and learned that they were staying at the hotel while navigating cancer treatments. Mayra quickly moved into the role of not only housekeeper, but also a daily dose of positivity. She even offered to clean the visitor’s home for free. To top off her true hospitality spirit, she has prepared chocolate covered strawberries and flowers for every Mom that was a visitor on Mother's day and prepared a full picnic plate of food for every hotel guest and associate that was at the hotel on 4th of July. 

A meeting planner who recently held the Delta Sigma Theta convention in Indy spontaneously joined the hotel’s monthly awards party sharing she wishes she could take the Indy staff to other cities. She finished her remarks by claiming one particular worker was quote “True Hospitality superstar," talking about Mayra.

“When a long-term visitor from Europe was staying at the hotel over the holidays, Mayra invited him over to her family’s Christmas so that so he wouldn’t be alone. When the visitor declined, she brought the party to him, including dinner, dessert, and gifts."

Terry Hill

Full-time Heavy Machine Operator at the Indianapolis Airport Authority

For 44 years, Terry has been the go-to guy for smooth airfields, intricate flight arrivals, emergency response, and more. As a critical part of the operations team, he works in 12-hour shifts to ensure that all roadways around the airport are clear and available for air and vehicular traffic. He combats all precipitation, including freezing rain, snow, and ice. In his role, he operates heavy machinery on the airfield. However, he’s known to go above and beyond his job by offering to drive buses for tours, or sadly, fallen soldier arrivals. He volunteers to welcome VIPs including eight U.S. presidents across his tenure or numerous youth aspiring to be pilots. He can be found working charity events at the airport like the annual Plane Pull, an epic tug-of-war with an 82-ton aircraft, raising millions for Special Olympics. His can-do spirit really shined in 2016 when a massive blizzard buried Washington D.C. with more than 20 inches of snow. He raised his hand to transport the airport’s Snow Dragon - the machine he operates to keep our airport safe - on a 10-hour trip. Thanks to him, Hoosier Hospitality was on full display in our nation’s capital.

“In 1987, a military jet crashed into the Ramada Inn near the airport. Terry was the first on the scene minutes after impact. Through his leadership, he helped bring the fire under control within four minutes."

Johnny "Love" Myers

Server at the Indiana Roof Ballroom

For 45 years, Johnny has served over 9,000 events across Indy and at the Roof Ballroom. He knows his guests by name. He anticipates their needs. He wows them with the same charm that charmed his then coworker to now wife, Amy Myers. 

Johnny was raised by a single mom. They didn’t have much, but what they didn’t have they made up for with their outpouring of hospitality. Impeccable manners. Yes ma’am. Thank you, ma’am. Press your shirts so that you look presentable. And an open-door policy, always gathering with friends and family over a meal. Johnny and his mom were known for their weekend fish fries. So, hospitality was in his DNA. And Hoosier Hospitality is what he does best. Johnny has worked every single Annual ROSE Awards event and has always delivered exceptional service day in and day out.

"You can’t go anywhere in Indy without someone shouting his name, which always leads to the biggest hug and biggest smile."

– Amy Myers, Johnny's wife

Hilda Zavala

Room Attendant at the Hyatt Regency

For 25 years, Hilda has perfected each room she cleans. Her inspection scores and customer ratings given by visitors reflect this. She's also known for being the guiding light of two kids and eight grandchildren, and her family will tell you that she’s always singing and always caring for others. One example came last year when her colleague learned his son was suffering from severe scoliosis, and it would sideline his passion for sports. A needed surgery would also sideline the family’s financial situation, as the surgery wasn’t covered by insurance. Hilda took it upon herself to raise funds from the housekeeping team. She organized raffles and provided home-cooked food for those who donated. 

“She motivates others by bringing in homemade food to share with her housekeeping team. And when her husband became medically disabled, she took on a second job putting in 16-hour days, but the feasts didn’t stop. And she never voiced a complaint."