Thirty-two people in Long Beach's hospitality industry will compete in 11 categories for honors in the Long Beach Hospitality Alliance Awards.

This is the third year the group representing hotels, restaurants and other hospitality industry businesses has given out the awards. This year, more that 300 nominations were received, a spokesperson said.

“The judges spent a lot of time reading through the nominations,” Heather Rozman, Long Beach Hospitality Alliance executive director, said in a release.  “Each person and place of business that were nominated are helping to make Long Beach a fantastic destination and experience for the hundreds of thousands of people who come here each year for work and pleasure.” 

An awards ceremony will be part of a celebratory dinner Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Hotel Maya. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lbhaawards.info.  Sponsorships still are available — call Elizabeth Borsting Public Relations, Inc. at 562-856-9292. 

Here are the 2019 finalists.

Rising Star Award

• Fernando Veulvas, runner/server at Hilton Long Beach

• Isabella Galarza, VIP coordinator at Hyatt Regency Long Beach

• Ariel Blackburn, catering manager at Hotel Maya

Unsung Hero Award

• Eduardo Olivares, director of Engineering at The Westin Long Beach

• Joel Magana, maintenance/busboy at Belmont Brewing Company

• Juan Cruz, banquet houseman at Hotel Maya

Beyond the Call of Duty

• Jenifer Jones, front office manager at Hampton Inn & Homewood Suites Long Beach Airport

• Maria Luisa Lopez, housekeeping supervisor at Long Beach Hilton

• Rudy Lira, head chef at R Bar

Lifetime Achievement

• Martin Howard, owner of Howard CDM

• David Lott and David Hansen, owners of Belmont Brewing Company

• Luis Navarro, owner of Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, The Social List, Portuguese Bend Distillery

Community Spirit Award

(This award goes to the individual who breaks the mold, recognizing a man and woman whose boldness or solutions drives them to do things differently and change our city in the most unexpected ways.)

• Long Beach Symphony

• Hotel Maya CARE Committee

• Aaron Tofani, co-owner of Rance’s Chicago Pizza 

Outstanding Hotel of the Year

• Long Beach Hilton

• The Westin Long Beach

• Hyatt Regency Long Beach

Outstanding Restaurant of the Year

• Fuego at Hotel Maya

• 555 East

• Pier 76 Fish Grill

Entrepreneur Award

• Aaron Tofani, co-owner of Rance’s Chicago Pizza

• Angela Almaguer, owner of Salud Juice

• Steve Massis, owner of The Attic on Broadway and Ashley’s on Fourth

Special Event Award

• SteelCraft Long Beach

• Navy Proof at The Westin Long Beach

• Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0

Housekeeping Award

• Araseli Ailman, public attendant at Hyatt Regency Long Beach

• Hortencia Gutierrez de Molina, room attendant at Long Beach Hilton

• Maria Ramos, room attendant at The Westin Long Beach

Safety Award

• Timothy Ong, chief engineer at Hyatt Centric The Pike

• Matt Ayers, owner of London Boat Rentals

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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