PWCVB celebrates with annual meeting

Good News and Great Press Celebrated at PWCVB Annual Meeting

Journal Food Editor Ciampa, La Gondola and 20 Industry Employees Also Honored

Providence, RI – The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) celebrated both good economic news and the area’s outstanding national media coverage at its Annual Meeting, held yesterday at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

“I am happy to say that business is good and the future looks bright,” said PWCVB Board Chairman Eric Churchill of the Providence Marriott Downtown.  “In FY15, the PWCVB contracted 101,448 rooms affiliated with meetings, conventions and sporting events for future years.  Those events will have a direct economic impact of $81.5 million in our community.”

The Bureau celebrated the spate of positive media coverage that the destination has had in the past year, noting that Providence’s ranking as “America’s Favorite City” by the readers Travel + Leisure had been announced just days before last year’s meeting and citing recent coverage from such outlets as, USA Today, and GQ.  

PWCVB President and CEO Martha Sheridan called for community partners to learn more about the tourism community’s impact and champion their home state through the PWCVB’s ambassador program, called “Recommend Rhode Island.”

“We recently developed an advocacy portion of our website that explains the role of the PWCVB, the impact our work has on the community, and – most importantly – how Rhode Islanders can help us.   A big part of that is Recommend Rhode Island, which spotlights local people who have recommended our state as a great place to hold a meeting, convention and sporting event and tells people how to get involved.”

The PWCVB also presented its Member of the Year Award to La Gondola and its Rhode Island Sports Champion Award to Joseph Brouillard of the North American Contract Bridge League. Providence Journal Food Editor Gail Ciampa was inducted into the PWCVB’s “Hall of Fame.”

"She was on board with Providence Restaurant Weeks from the very beginning and has helped us grow the program from one week, once a year, to two weeks, twice a year,” Sheridan said of Ciampa. “She is democratic in her approach and doesn’t care who makes the food, as long as it’s good.  She treats the smallest café with the same respect and care as the big name restaurants.”

About 20 front-line employees in the tourism industry were also honored with ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Awards.  They are:

•         Nancy Allen, docent at the Roger Williams Park Zoo;
•         Estelle Barada, concierge lounge attendant at the Providence Marriott Downtown;
•         Erika Berntson, office manager at La Gondola;
•         Tamika Brown, the front desk supervisor at the Hampton Inn & Suites Warwick Airport;
•         Jillian Cosgrove, event and exhibitor services manager at the Rhode Island Convention Center;
•         Bradley Causey, bartender at Ted’s Montana Grill; 
•         Friendtzdy Dabady, head bartender at CAV;
•         Kat Dacier, bartender at the Lighthouse Bar in Twin River Casino;
•         Joseph England, server at Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse;
•         Ailton Evora, houseman at Twin River Casino;
•         Gabby Highly, lead hair stylist at the Spa at the Providence Biltmore;
•         Joan Hoyle, table games and slot beverage server for the Twin River Casino;
•         Trent Jordan, houseperson at the Hilton Providence;
•         Brian Lamothe, night auditor at the Providence Biltmore;
•         Beverly Pettine, docent at the John Brown House Museum;
•         Domenic Silvestro, server at Shula’s 347;
•         Shalonda Spruill, front desk associate at the Wyndham Garden Providence;
•         Macaria Toj, prep cook at Local 121;
•         Glenna Worrell, administrative assistant in the Business Rental Department of Enterprise Rent-a-Car;
•         and Deborah Young, breakfast ambassador at the Residence Inn by Marriott Providence/Coventry.

The Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create vibrant growth for the local hospitality economy by promoting, developing, and expanding a united visitor industry.  For more information, contact 401-751-1177 or visit