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Afton : Blue Mountain Gets Best Brewery Award From VRLTA

[ 0 ] October 7, 2017 |

Photo courtesy of VRLTA : Above Matt Nucci – far left – along with Mandi Smack and Taylor Smack co-owners and founders of Blue Mountain Brewery receive their Best Brewery award from The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association .

Richmond / Afton

The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 VRLTA Ordinary Awards. Recipients were honored at a special dinner at The Westin Richmond on October 2, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. The winners were announced in front of a sold out audience of more than 175 hospitality and travel industry peers and leaders from across the state.

This was VRLTA’s second consecutive year hosting the Ordinary Awards, which were sponsored by Visit Fairfax, Virginia Business, and Woodford Reserve, which is the evening’s exclusive bourbon sponsor.

During the event, VRLTA honored Speaker of the House William J. Howell with the Legislator of the Year Award for his support of hospitality and tourism during his tenure. Tony DiFilippo, President and CEO of VisitNorfolk, was also honored before the audience with a Golden Pineapple Lifetime Achievement Award for his work to grow the tourism industry in Norfolk and throughout the Commonwealth.

The following individuals and businesses were selected from the more than 100 nominees:

Bartender of the Year

Mary Garriques, Capital Ale House Downtown Richmond
Charlie Buser Award for Attraction Employee of the Year

Dana Staniunas, Massanutten Resort
Hotel Employee of the Year

Rocqui Camm, Delta Hotels by Marriott Richmond Downtown
Restaurant Employee of the Year

Connlan Hogan, Capital Ale House Harrisonburg
Chef of the Year

Tony Cochones, Glory Days Grill restaurants
Supplier of the Year

Jo Diedrich, LeisureMedia360
Rising Pineapple Award for Hospitality & Tourism Student of the Year

Lauren Schlenker, Virginia Tech
Brewery of the Year

Blue Mountain Brewery + Blue Mountain Barrel House, Afton + Arrington
Distillery of the Year

Copper Fox Distillery, Sperryville + Williamsburg
Winery of the Year

Williamsburg Winery, Williamsburg
Hotelier of the Year

Geoff Lawson, The National Conference Center
Jim Ricketts Award for DMO/CVB Employee of the Year

Dan Cook, Discover Prince William & Manassas
Jim Wordsworth Award for Restaurateur of the Year

Tony Stafford, Ford’s Fish Shack restaurants
Attraction of the Year

Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company’s Chincoteague Pony Penning
Restaurant of the Year

Wicker’s Crab Pot Seafood, Chesapeake
Hotel of the Year

The National Conference Center, Leesburg
“The winners of the 2017 Ordinary Awards represent all the extraordinary people and companies that make up Virginia’s hospitality and tourism industry,” said Eric Terry President of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. “On behalf of the VRLTA, our staff, and board, we applaud the efforts of this individuals for the exemplary work they have done and will continue to do.”

For more information about VRLTA’s Ordinary Awards, visit or

About the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA)
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association is the only unified voice for the restaurant, lodging, travel and hospitality suppliers associations. VRLTA creates value for members by promoting the legislative interests of the industry, networking, educational opportunities, and protecting free enterprise. Inquiries about membership and VRLTA services should be directed to VRLTA at (804) 288-3065 or

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