Hospitality Heroes Winners
Candace Ortiz, Guest Relations Manager at NoMad Las Vegas
Candace Ortiz has worked for MGM Resorts International for more than a decade and was part of the opening team at NoMad Las Vegas in 2018. As guest relations manager, Ortiz researches arriving VIP guests to ensure a memorable stay. She has been known to orchestrate unique ways to welcome guests, including adding personalized touches to guest rooms such as photos of family members, favorite snacks or beverages or incorporating a nod to guests’ favorite sports teams. Ortiz’s thoughtful nature and attention to detail have made a lasting impression on NoMad’s guests as well as her team members.
Erika Stokely, Lead Dispatcher at Resorts World Las Vegas
Erika Stokely has worked in fire command centers at various resort properties over the past decade. She joined Resorts World Las Vegas when the resort opened in 2021. Stokely was nominated by a colleague for her experience, expertise, and attention to detail that helps keep all Resorts World guests safe at all times.
Paola Crow, Concierge at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Paola Crow started her career as a concierge in 1999 and was part of the opening teams at a number of Las Vegas resorts before joining The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in 2010. She was nominated for the award by a colleague for her knowledge, expertise, and her outstanding customer service skills. Crow is also a member of the esteemed Les Clefs d’Or, an international association of hotel concierges representing extraordinary concierge professionals.
Emelyn Del Prado-Cando, Food Server at Sonoma Cellar inside Sunset Station
Emelyn Del Prado-Cando started working at Sunset Station as a food server the year the resort opened in 1997. She was nominated for the Legacy Award for her 24 years of service. She makes guests feel like they’re family when they dine at Sonoma Cellar and ensures they leave with a desire to make a return visit. Emelyn also trains new team members and passes on advice she’s learned over the years, helping create new generations of Hospitality Heroes.
Alonzo Langstaff & Earl Manson, Bellmen at Westgate Las Vegas Resort
Alonzo Langstaff & Earl Manson both started at what was then the Las Vegas Hilton in 1971. Over the years, both have had the chance to help out countless celebrities including Elvis Presley, Mohammed Ali, Liberace, and Barry Manilow. The two were nominated for the Legacy Award for their combined 100 years of experience.
Cindy Brown, Slot Shift Manager at California Hotel & Casino
Cindy Brown received the Hospitality Heroes Industry Award for her outstanding customer service and dedication. Cindy has worked at California Hotel & Casino for 26 years and brings a positive attitude to work every day. Over the years, Cindy’s commitment to guests has resulted in bringing repeat business to the downtown hotel and casino and boosting morale among her colleagues. Watch the video below highlighting Cindy’s inspiring story.
Vernon Green, Assistant Chef at Excalibur Hotel & Casino
Vernon Green received the Hospitality Heroes Legacy Award for his more than 50 years working in Las Vegas culinary operations. With more than 40 years of that time spent at MGM Resorts International, Vernon is known by his colleagues as a dedicated teammate who is always ready to help and dedicate his time off to volunteer. Watch the video below highlighting Vernon’s inspiring story.
Samantha Fry, Pool Operations Manager, Treasure Island Hotel & Casino
Samantha Fry started at Treasure Island in 2012 as a lifeguard at age 16 and has remained at the property for nearly a decade while earning her high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree at UNLV. She was promoted to a management position in 2016, overseeing the pool, cabanas and VIP guests. Fry’s colleagues describe her as dedicated, hardworking and an exceptional leader. She can commonly be seen delivering food and drink to sunbathers, helping clean up spills or performing lifeguard duties if needed. In her time at the pool, Fry has made two water rescues that required medical attention.
Benny Figgins, Dealer, Caesars Palace
Benny Figgins has been a dealer at Caesars Palace for 49 years. He is not only one of the few employees who have been with the casino since its opening, but he was one of the first African American dealers to work on the Strip after casinos began integrating the workforce. Colleagues say Benny is one of the most requested dealers at the resort and many guests return year after year to sit at his table. Watch the video below highlighting Benny’s inspiring story.
Bryan Funai, Concierge, Waldorf Astoria
Bryan Funai has been a concierge in Las Vegas since 1998. In the middle of the great recession, he was part of the opening team at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and stayed with the property when it transitioned to Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas in 2018. His colleagues say his warmth and professionalism remains a constant despite the many changes he has experienced in the industry. Watch the video below highlighting Bryan’s inspiring story.