ALO ADEBAYO: Agent at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, at “Together We Shine” Luncheon, as Greater Fort Lauderdale’s tourism industry joined the nation in celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week. PHOTO COURTESY OF VISIT LAUDERDALE

Staff Report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Visit Lauderdale celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week and a record-breaking year for tourism in Greater Fort Lauderdale, in style during the annual “Together We Shine” luncheon and awards ceremony on May 11.

In partnership with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) Broward Chapter, Visit Lauderdale hosted hundreds from the hospitality community at the newly expanded Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center to share successes and honor exceptional colleagues.

This year’s Laudable Awards ceremony honored eight exceptional hospitality professionals for consistently going above and beyond their primary duties to welcome “Everyone Under the Sun” and ensure visitors have a memorable experience.

2023 Laudable Award winners:

• Riverside Hotel VIP Guest Room and Suites Attendant Dieulila Davilmar

• Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort Server Norrone Mignott

• Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Agent Alo Adebayo

• Riverside Hotel Guest Services Supervisor Lori Monticello

• Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort Director of Operations J.D. Ba

• Riverside Hotel Security Officer Noel Gasendy

Laudable Rising Star Award

• Marriott and AC Hotel General Manager Mychal Milian

Laudable Lifetime Achievement Award

• The Restaurant People Co-Founder and CEO Tim Petrillo

Honorees were nominated by their industry colleagues and selected by an evaluation panel consisting of local industry professionals.

“Each of our Laudable Award nominees exemplifies excellence in hospitality,” said Visit Lauderdale President and CEO Stacy Ritter. “They truly are a driving force and the reason why Greater Fort Lauderdale continues to be the destination of choice for leisure and business travelers, meetings and convention attendees and sports groups.”

The results of their efforts are evident in the continued economic growth of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s tourism industry, which has experienced double digit percentile spikes in hotel revenue and airport arrivals. As an economic engine for Broward County, tourism employs approximately 93,000 people and last year generated almost $127 million in annual tax revenue.

“The revenue from the tourist development tax has increased by almost a 30 percent year-over-year,” said Ritter, “It’s due in large part to these dedicated individuals, who are our valued ambassadors.”

The officials said Lauderdale continues to be a top destination because of its commitment to inclusion, which is prominently featured in its brand campaign starring locals with disabilities, members of the area’s LGBT+ community, and people of diverse ages and ethnicities. People from more than 170 countries speaking 147 languages in 31 municipalities make up Greater Fort Lauderdale.

“FRLA Broward is honored to promote, protect, and educate the hospitality industry. For over a decade, our fundraising efforts have been instrumental towards education in support of hospitality and culinary curriculums,” said Rozeta Mahboubi, FRLA Broward regional director. “Our scholarship and mentorship programs have advanced many inspiring new talents into an array of industry positions.”