Newsletter and Subscription Sign Up


Published Friday Oct 31, 2008

Celebrating excellence in New Hampshire's hospitality industry, the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association (NHLRA) hosted its 94th annual Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner this past Monday, October 27, 2008 at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods.

The 2008 Award winners are:

Ed Bednarowski Allied Member of the Year
Debbie Frawley Drake, Lakes Region Linen, president and owner. She began working for Lakes Region Linen in 1982 and now boasts more than 50 employees. Known for her generous donations of table linens to non-profit groups, Frawley Drake also participates with several community service organizations.

Innkeeper of the Year
Karen Meyer, Three Chimneys Inn, Durham, innkeeper since 2003. Meyer has spent more than 30 years working in hospitality in both NH and Colorado. She is an active member of the NHLRA Board of Directors and devotes time to planning local fundraising events.

Restaurateur of the Year

Michael Buckley, Michael Timothy's, Nashua. Buckley and his wife Sarah were instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Nashua with the opening Michael Timothy's in 1995. Since then, they have also opened the Surf Restaurant in Nashua and Buckley's Great Steaks in Merrimack. Buckley is a generous supporter of numerous non-profit organizations and is on the Board of Directors of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce and the Great American Downtown Business Improvement Committee.

Lodging Employee of the Year
Melinda Cote, New London Inn, New London. Cote began working at the New London Inn when it re-opened in 2005. Originally hired as a hostess, she worked her way up to her general m. A New London area native, she has worked in hospitality and retail for the majority of her career.

Restaurant Employee of the Year
Dwight Ike Garland, The Wentworth, Jackson. Garland began working at The Wentworth in 1985. When the inn was purchased by the current owners, the Koeppels, in 1990, he came as a package deal with the purchase. Garland is a dishwasher and night watchman. Yet, he has done everything from shovel snow to check in guests in the middle of the night to serving meals in the restaurant. His commitment and attitude have been an inspiration to the staff for more than 20 years.

Other finalists were: Susannah Smith, Coca-Cola of Northern New England; D. Dean Williams, Martignetti Companies of New Hampshire, Jennifer Tower, Common Man Inn; Bridget LeRoy, New London Inn; Dick Delaney, Chris Kozlowski, Orchard Street Chop Shop; Delaney's Hole in the Wall; Eric Pyra, InnSeason Resorts; Judy Lodge, Sunset Hill House; Mike Webb, Pearl Restaurant & Oyster Bar; and Aaron Leyton, Lago.

The dinner also included recognition of the State Winners of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award. Each year, the National Restaurant Association and American Express salute restaurateurs who go above and beyond in giving back to their communities through the Restaurant Neighbor Award. The 2008 Restaurant Neighbor Awards for New Hampshire are as follows:

State Winner National Restaurant Association Neighbor Award
The Common Man Family of Restaurants

State Winner National Restaurant Association Neighbor Award
Patrick's Pub & Eatery

State Winner National Restaurant Association Cornerstone Humanitarian Award
Allan Beetle, Patrick's Pub & Eatery

All Stories