Hospitality Celebration

A bellman who helped a Bryan-College Station visitor in need was recognized Thursday as a Hometown Hero.

Rudy Medina was honored as an exceptional service associate at a luncheon hosted by the Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau. Convention representatives said Medina was working as a bellhop for Hilton College Station when he chased down a passenger about to board a plane with a laptop the passenger had left behind in an airport.

"We like to showcase individuals who really go above and beyond in hospitality," said CVB member Amy Duffel.

Duffel said CVB staff watched the events unfold and heard visitors comment that only in Texas are people that honest and kind. She said they were interrupted by others who said, no, only people in Bryan-College Station exemplify those qualities.

It's that type of action that leaves a lasting impact on visitors and was worthy of the award, she said.

The annual Hospitality Celebration luncheon honored local businesses and professionals for promoting tourism throughout the year. The CVB hosts the celebration luncheon each year as part of a national campaign, National Tourism Week.

CVB member Kindra Fry recalled to a room full of elected officials, community members and business owners at the luncheon how one local company stepped up to help the association when it was relatively new to the community.

"One thing about tourism in sports is there is really never a day off," she said.

Fry said they were looking for an eatery to provide food for an event scheduled on a holiday. Without realizing that Newk's Express Cafe planned to be closed that day, owner Andrew Mendez volunteered.

Fry said her staff learned that Mendez, after remembering his eatery would be closed, went in and made every sandwich he'd promised to CVB himself just to help with the event.

Deeds like that that earned Mendez the Sports Hometown Hero award, Fry said.

The Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau honored local businesses and professionals for promoting tourism throughout the year.

Recipients included:

* Sports Hometown Heroes : Andrew Mendez, with Newk's Express Café, and Chris Field, with BCS Marathon

* Media Hometown Heroes : Steve Fullhart, with KBTX, and Steve Schlemmer, with KEOS

* Community Promotions Partner Hometown Hero : Royalty Pecan Farms

* Convention Hometown Heroes : Jackie Brewer, for the Texas Art Education Association State Visual Arts Scholastic Event, and Rob Montgomery, for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas

* Tourism Hometown Heroes : Mary Smith and Sandra Wood, with the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

* Exceptional Service Associate : Rudy Medina

* Outstanding Service Provider : Abigaile's Treehouse, City of Bryan Parks and Recreation Department

*Story written by The Eagle


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College Station, TX 77840

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Fax: 979.260.9800

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