Behind The Scenes – Accommodations & Attractions

Susan Herschel

Louisville Marriott Downtown

Executive Assistant to the General Manager, Susan Herschel began her career with the Louisville Marriott Downtown long before the building was even constructed. She has served as the Assistant to the General Manager for over 12 years. During Susan’s tenure at the hotel she has become the go-to contact for members of the community, local and national government, leaders in the hospitality industry, the visitor’s bureau, and general public. There are a million examples of Susan’s genuine care for her city and her hotel, but most importantly for her guests. This passion for service and dedication to be a true goodwill ambassador for the city of Louisville makes her a shining example of Kentucky Hospitality and The Louisville Marriott is proud to have her as one of our service leaders!

Cast Your Vote for Susan

Louis Marriott

The Brown Hotel


Louis has been employed at The Brown Hotel since 1994. Louis works the prized 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM shift polishing the floors that dazzle our guests’ day-in and day-out. You will never see the floors in our grand lobby when they do not shine like a diamond in a mirror. Louis takes an amazing amount of pride in his work and exhibits unequaled loyalty to the company. There have been instances when I have “caught” him buying supplies out of his own pocket for no other reason than doing so would result in a better “product”. I have had to “force” him to take vacation time, and then, worried about the condition of the floors, talk him out of coming in. When he was asked to fill in and work shifts doing Security, he gladly volunteered, helping greatly during a transition in this position, but obviously concerned about missing a day on his floors. Louis has a rich family history with The Brown Hotel that speaks to his incredible work ethic and loyalty. His grandfather was a doorman here for 40 years, as was his uncle for 30. As Louis enters his 24th year with The Brown Hotel, that brings the total family tradition to a combined 94 years of hospitality – AMAZING! Finally, Louis is the owner of what I believe to be one of the most conscientious quotes one could cite. “I want people to walk into this hotel and realize they are in a special place,” he says. “I feel like the floor of the hotel is the hotel’s shoes – if the shoes are polished and nice, the whole outfit shines.”

Cast Your Vote for Louis

Linda Brownlee

Crown Plaza Louisville

Linda has a great caring and compassion for our guests and has had many compliments for her helpfulness in dealing with lost and found over the past 2 years. She has a unique and witty sense of humor that often catches her coworkers off guard. Linda is a ROSE and we believe she is the ideal recipient for this year’s award. She has been a true asset to our company and the housekeeping department. When she started her career in hospitality she was a room attendant and through the years has worked her way up from there to laundry attendant/runner and now office clerk. During her career with the Crowne Plaza Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and had to undergo a lumpectomy. She only took 2 weeks off from work and returned while undergoing Chemo treatments for 5 months. Following that she began radiation treatments on her birthday. Being the dedicated associate that she is this never slowed her down. Linda would attend to her medical appointments in the morning at 7:15 am and come in to work the rest of the day. We are so proud that Linda is a survivor and a member of our Crowne Plaza family. Linda’s dedication to service in the hospitality industry has been exemplified by her devotion to her duties and her compassion for others.

Cast Your Vote for Linda

Katie Neff

SpringHill Suites/Fairfield Inn Louisville Downtown

I have been in hotel management for ten years, and never met someone who can positively influence a team so quickly. Katie has restructured all communications and organization mediums, enhanced the culture, and lifted guest satisfaction and sales by her sole efforts. It’s hard to pin down one amazing story with Katie, because she does amazing every day. She will tackle a laundry list of to do’s, interact with two front desks each morning and throughout the day to ensure all information is shared about our guests, and lead meetings to help the team navigate upcoming group arrivals and meetings. Katie lead the group resume meeting on her first week, just three days on the job! Not only that, the entire team said it was the best meeting we have had in months. In a challenging year with the convention center closed, Katie has supported our team in a way that has allowed our two hotels to outperform the prior year, to date. Katie has found her passion, she walks in the door on fire, and doesn’t stop until the day is over. Katie regularly takes call on weekends, answers messages at any time, and comes in whenever her clients ask her to. Katie received a letter from our largest Skills client, stating he has never had a better planning experience, or worked with someone to her caliber. Katie has also been mentioned on Trip Advisor by name, and closed business for our team because of her high level of service. Katie’s future is bright, and Louisville is blessed to have her interacting with our clients and guests.

Cast Your Vote for Katie

Gaynecia Forrest

Galt House

Gaynecia is dependable, efficient, and unfailingly sweet. In fact, I have never worked with a person who gives as much attention to detail as she does, who cares so much about an organization, and who puts so much of herself into her work. Also, her willingness to take on difficult tasks like assisting banquets, helping other departments, and see them to successful completion has repeatedly impressed me. Her skills do not end with her work in stewarding. Although Gaynecia primarily works in the back of the house, making sure operations are smooth and efficient, she also projects a warm, cheerful attitude with guests when she encounters them. I have seen her help guests and handle other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. She works very hard to provide for her son and she never disappoints her work family. She loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her. These characteristics represent all that is good in our company.

Cast Your Vote for Gaynecia

Ellen Dow

Muhammad Ali Center

Ellen Dow is an employee that any organization would love to employ. She takes every task of her job seriously and works to exceed the expectations of her manager. Ellen is part of a team at the Ali Center that is responsible for insuring that the building is kept in immaculate condition for the Center’s diverse group of visitors and guests. In discharging her duties, Ellen always goes beyond what is required. She goes out of her way to engage the Center’s guests to do what she can to make their experience at the Center and in Louisville a positive and memorable one. Ellen is the ultimate “team player.” She does not hesitate to jump in wherever extra help is needed. Whether it is to help shorten the wait time for guests in the Center’s gift shop by bagging their purchases, or placing wristbands on guests and giving exhibit directions when the Visitor Services staff is overwhelmed, Ellen is there.

Cast Your Vote for Ellen

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