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24th Annual Atlantic City Host and Spirit of Hospitality Awards set for May

20 March 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Annual Atlantic City Host Awards is an event which recognizes and rewards the front-line and back-of-the-house workers for exemplary service to Atlantic City visitors and are important to the economy and the backbone of its hospitality industry. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) is hosting the 24th Annual Atlantic City Host and Spirit of Hospitality Awards on 10 May 2023 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in the Adrian Phillips Theater.

Nominations have been received in the following 25 categories: Best Server, Fine Dining; Best Server, Casual Dining; Best Server, Banquet/Catering; Best Food and Beverage Support; Best Bartender; Best Host/Hostess; Best Visitor Information/Concierge/Service Personnel (Thomas G. Henning Award); Best Retail Sales Associate; Best Valet; Best Door/Bell Person; Best Room Service Personnel; Best Casino Host; Best Room Attendant/Housekeeper; Best Food Production Personnel; Best Heart of the House Personnel; Best Reservationist; Best Security Personnel; Best Casino Games Personnel (Ray Kot Award); Best Casino Support Personnel; Best Public Area Personnel; Best Cashier; Best Cocktail Server; Best Spa Personnel; Best Facilities Operations; and Best sports Book/I-Gaming Personnel.

As part of the Host Awards ceremony, the “Spirit of Hospitality” Award is given to an outstanding individual who has made a long-lasting contribution to the Atlantic City tourism & hospitality industry. The committee is honored to award this year’s Spirit of Hospitality Award to Dr. Jane Bokunewicz, Faculty Director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) and an Associate Professor of Hospitality Tourism and Event Management in the School of Business at Stockton University.

In 2022, in collaboration with the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) and Stockton Continuing Studies, LIGHT developed and implemented a Certified Tourism Industry Professional certificate program where working professionals can earn an industry valued credential, fully online, asynchronously, at their own pace. LIGHT has earned a reputation as a credible source of gaming hospitality and tourism research and analysis and participates frequently in press, TV and radio interviews commenting on important industry events.

Bokunewicz has been a hospitality and casino management educator at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level since 2006, first at Drexel in Philadelphia and currently at Stockton University. She teaches Casino Management, Hotel Management, Human Resources, Business Policy and Strategy and Social Network Analysis. Educating the next generation of Hospitality leaders is her passion.

Bokunewicz worked 22 years in the Atlantic City casino industry with 12 years as Vice President of Administration at Tropicana. Bokunewicz holds a PhD in Communication, Culture and Media from Drexel University and she is a third-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do Karate. Past recipients of the Spirit of Hospitality Award include Henrietta Shelton, Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation (2006); Nelson Johnson, Boardwalk Empire author (2011); Jean Muchanic, Executive Director of the Absecon Lighthouse (2015); Jon Henderson, Good Time Tricycle Productions (2018); Whitney Ullman, The Pulse (2019); and Evan Sanchez, Authentic City Partners (2022).

All finalists will receive two complimentary tickets to attend the event while family, friends and co-workers are invited to purchase additional tickets to support their nominee. Tickets are priced at $75 for an individual, and tables of ten are priced at $750.

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