Sonoma County Tourism will celebrate the best and brightest in the tourism and hospitality industry at the 2024 Stars of the Industry Awards on Wednesday, May 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma Wine Country. The event is designed to celebrate businesses that contribute to the wellbeing of our community and make Sonoma County a vibrant vacation destination, as well as the unsung hospitality workforce that goes above and beyond in service to our visitors.

2024 Stars of the Industry

It's time to cast your vote for the Sonoma County Stars of the Industry Awards!

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the Stars of the Industry Awards. The nominees have been pared down to three finalists in each of the 11 categories, with voting open now through Tuesday, May 7 at 5 pm. Please note that voting is limited to one ballot per person, per day. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 22 during the Stars of the Industry Awards dinner and ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma Wine Country.

Questions regarding voting and awards dinner can be directed to [email protected].

* Individual tickets - $75 each; EARLY BIRD until 5/3 - after that date each ticket is $95
* Table of 10 - $600 per table; EARLY BIRD until 5/3 - after that date each table is $675

This award recognizes a front of the house employee who goes above and beyond to provide excellent customer service to guests and exemplifies dependability, teamwork and dedication.

Allyson Etherington, Server, The Red Grape

Having worked in hospitality for 20-plus years, with 17 of them at The Red Grape in Sonoma, Allyson Etherington is the true definition of a pro. With her genuine warmth and unwavering dedication, Allyson has fostered deep connections with the many diners who frequent The Red Grape – both locals and visitors. Over the years, Allyson has humbly and gracefully evolved from an expert server to a trusted and familiar friend to many, and as a result, has earned a devoted local following. Her countless contributions continue to have a profound impact on the restaurant and its enduring reputation as a welcome haven to all.

Liam Richardson, Host/Busser/Greeter/Buddy, Torches

While Liam Richardson may be new to the hospitality industry, he is a complete natural. In his role as host and busser, he greets every guest with a huge smile and heartfelt, “Hello and welcome into Torches Petaluma!” Liam is always eager to pick up extra shifts and has taken the initiative to create a dance party and other activities at Torches that include his fellow special needs community with Down Syndrome. He brightens so many of the guests’ stay and the staff consistently receives compliments as to how amazing Liam is, and how he clearly loves and takes pride in his work.

Rob Saccuzzo, Tap Room Manager, Old Caz Beer

As Tap Room Manager, Rob Saccuzzo literally pours his heart and soul into Old Caz Beer in Rohnert Park. On top of making sure the day-to-day operations run smoothly in the tap room, Rob spends his bartending shifts cultivating a fun and exciting beer experience for every customer. He also hosts a trivia night every Tuesday, writes all the questions and acts as MC. Outside of the taproom, Rob can be found partnering with the community and working beer events including Battle of the Brews and The Freshtival. He is always the one waving the Old Caz Beer flag and gathering people around the tent to try the newest selection of tasty beers.

Check, Please! Bay Area's Leslie Sbrocco to host Stars of the Industry Awards!

Leslie SbroccoAn award-winning author, speaker, consultant, and television host, Leslie Sbrocco is known for her entertaining approach to wine, food, and travel.

As host of the PBS restaurant review series, Check Please! Sbrocco has won a James Beard award and four Emmy awards in 19 seasons on air. Her new PBS series, 100 DAYS, DRINKS, DISHES & DESTINATIONS, showcases Leslie’s adventures as she discovers global culinary treasures. It currently appears on more than 300 stations nationwide.

Leslie is a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show and her work has appeared in multiple online and magazine publications. Her first book, Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine (William Morrow), won the coveted Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year award.

Sbrocco is one of the country’s most sought-after wine speakers and has showcased her energetic style at hundreds of events. She is also a respected judge at national and global wine competitions.

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2023 Stars of the Industry Finalist

Front of the House Finalists

Bryan Bergman – Server, LO & BEHOLD (Winner)
Lichi Bowers – Server, River’s End Restaurant & Inn
Linda Cook Sproul – Hospitality Manager, Journeyman Meat Company

Heart of the House Finalists

Diane McGowan – Accounting and Compliance Manager, Inman Family Wines
Norma Aguilar – Room Attendant, DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country
Santos Perez De Wile – Room Attendant, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (Winner)

Innovation Finalists

Dickinson Glass Studio and Showroom
The Altamont General Store
J Vineyards & Winery (Winner)

Rising Star Finalists

Hayden Puryear – Tasting Room Manager, Larson Family Wines
Ashley Songer – Tasting Room Lead, Muscardini Cellars
Aaron Moore – Director of Sales, Hotel E/ Art House Hotel

Lodging Property of the Year Finalists

The Astro
The Lodge at Bodega Bay

Accredited Hospitality Professional Program Champion

Analy High School

Legacy Award

Don & Thera Buttaro

Customer Experience Finalists

Sonoma Zipline Adventures
Fleur Sauvage Chocolates
Brewsters Beer Garden

Community Enrichment Finalists

Transcendence Theatre Company
Encore Events Rentals
Vintners Foundation

Environmental Stewardship/Sustainable Practices Finalists

Psychic Pie
Ridge Vineyards

2022 Stars of the Industry Finalist

Front of the House Finalists

Shari Shabanian - Banquet Captain, DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country
Lawrence Ku - Volunteer Docent, Charles M. Schulz Museum
Robert Young - Manager, Robert Young Winery Tasting Room

Customer Engagement Finalists

Domaine de La Riviere
Vineyard Corridor
Pure Luxury Transportation

Heart of the House Finalists

Gray Rollin - Owner, Belly Left Coast Kitchen + Taproom
Evelin Orellana - Executive Housekeeper, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Rohnert Park
Pasang Sherpa - Server Assistant, Wit & Wisdom

Innovation Finalists

365 Recreational Cannabis
Mine + Farm

Rising Star Finalists

Kristen Fisher - Hotel GM, boon hotel + spa
Jennifer Adams - Virtual and Specialty Tasting Sales Manager, Landmark Vineyards
Ama Waya-Bivin - Tasting Room Lead, Wilson Winery

Environment Stewardship-Sustainable Practices Finalists

The Astro
Medlock Ames
Kendall Jackson

Ally of the Industry Finalists

Leland Fishman - Fishman Supply Company
Duskie Estes - Farm to Pantry
Chef Mei Ibach - West County High School

Lodging Property of the Year Finalists

boon hotel + spa
Hampton Inn & Suites Windsor - Sonoma Wine Country
Hotel La Rose

Accredited Hospitality Professional Program Champion

Kirk Lok - Quality Inn & Fairfield Inn & Suites

Legacy Award

The Count, George Webber - Buena Vista