A Huge Thanks
To Our Nominees
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of each and every one of these individuals. Without them, Door County would not be what it is today.
Here's what our community and beyond had to say about all of our nominees.
Dave Sawyer (Winner of $250 Travel Voucher)
"Some people make your day just by being there and Dave is one of those people! We have been staying at The Churchhill Inn for MANY years - and Dave has been there for 12 of them. He clearly has a strong work ethic and is a trusted team member there. And, he is just a great guy - so personable, has a fun sense of humor, is willing to share his knowledge of Door County when you have questions, very attentive to giving awesome customer service and great at his job(s)!! We look forward to seeing Dave every time we stay at The Churchhill - it wouldn't be the same without him!"
Diane Lopez (Winner of $250 Visa Gift card)
"Drives from Brussels to Baileys Harbor everyday , never late and exceeds expectations every time she steps to the plate! ( no pun here lol) … consistancy is her middle name!"
Cornerstone Pub & The Waterstreet Inn
"Jen is not only a staple working behind the bar at Cornerstone, she also works full-time at the Waterstreet Inn. Jen was instrumental in keeping Cornerstone open during the pandemic and this past summer jumping into any role that needed to be filled. Cooking, hosting, bussing, washing dishes - she did it all! This past summer not only did she do anything it took at Cornerstone, she also worked full-time at the Waterstreet Inn in housekeeping with her two daughter. This single mother of 4 did it all and never missed a shift! She deserves a vacation!"
"Jennifer has been a dedicated employee to the Cornerstone for many years. Through the pandemic, she weathered "to go only" orders, and kept a smile on her face! As a single mom with four children, Jennifer has always made sure they never went without and has passed-on a work ethic to them that is priceless! I know I won't be her only nomination, she is well-loved and respected by all of her customers and co-workers!"
"Jen is a dedicated employee at the Cornerstone. She does it all; serve food, make drinks, clean tables, and a variety of other things! Jen makes sure each customer is taken care of as quickly as possible. She also is very personable and makes sure that each customer enjoys their dining experience at the Cornerstone!"
Open Hearth Lodge
"Jack was over the top accommodating us when checking in. Because of short staff our room would not be ready for a couple of hours and we knew how bad he felt that we couldn't settle in. We were not upset at all since we understood and came back later. Jack was so kind and explained the situation and wanted to do what he could to make it right. Then we saw Jack in the dining area cleaning and making sure everything was in its place. Very impressed with his work ethic and his compassion. We chatted a bit and he mentioned he was putting in long days at the lodge and on duty at Fort McCoy, so a true serviceman and a very hard worker. Jack definitely deserves this thank you and a well deserved break. He shows up, putting others first which Door County should be very proud to have him. What he does for the lodge in Door and for what he does for our country. Thank you for recognizing these hard workers that make Door the best place to be!"
"This guy is so dedicated to his job and serving the great people of Door County. He also loves to make visitors of Door County feel extra special and they keep coming back year after year. He is a true joy to be around. He did not let this pandemic get in the way of providing a safe and enjoyable place for his employees and guests. Please pick him so he take a well-needed vacation!"
"It is tough being a server but not for Stephanie because she loves meeting people and taking care of her regulars. She is a delight to be around. She strives to create a perfect night out for visitors and locals when they dine at the Waterfront. In the early days of this pandemic, it was very scary to be on the front lines but she knew she couldn’t let her team or diners down so she masked up and provided exceptional service. Please pick her so she can take a vacation and get some well deserved R&R."
Door County Confectionery
"Although only 25 years old he wears many hats for not only all of the Door County Confectionery locations but for Dippy's Ice Cream and The Fudge House as well. Manager/ cashier/ordering/banking/cleaning/ - making sure all of the stores provide friendly service and quality products even though extremely short staffed."
White Gull Inn
"Patrice has been a faithful employee of the White Gull Inn nearly 4 decades and has served in many different positions. Always a pleasure to arrive at the White Gull Inn and be greeted by a dedicated employee."
"We have been coming to the White Gull Inn for many years and one of the main reasons it is special for us is because of Patrice. Her attention to detail and guest comfort has always been exceptional and consistently excellent thru her several years of service at the WGI. We look forward to arriving and seeing Patrice’s smiling face at the front desk and we know we will be well taken care of. Because Patrice is a Door County native growing up in Sister Bay, she is extremely knowledgeable about the County, events and things to do which will make our visit memorable. Patrice sets the standard for excellence in hospitality service which is a great example for new workers to emulate. We are happy to nominate Patrice as someone who truly deserves recognition for all she does and the White Gull is lucky to have Patrice on their team."
Door County Kayak Tours
"Justin is excited to explore, eager to share his knowledge and deep into his music. Travel would do his work and his self good. Those experiences would allow him to share more stories during his tours and involve them in his music."
Scaturo's Baking Co. & Cafe
"Alisa has been working at Scaturos for 19 years! She started as a dishwasher at 14. She works long hours and is responsible for all that holiday baking, which is quite the task! She is a great team leader and a very hardworking employee! And she always has a smile!"
"V.V. has been working in many of Door County's establishments, from restaurants and bars to hotel. She did win the WH&LA Spirit of Hospitality Award last year and for very good reason and has been trained in the Destination Door County CTA program. Her many years of service to the several Door County establishments and multitudes of Door County guests as well as her own adventures around Door County make her an incredible Ambassador for Door County. I get many mentions of her service from a lot of our guests here at the Edgewater Resort. She is always ready with a suggestion or information for our Door County visitors that makes their travels here even better and they leave wanting to come back for more. Her 25 plus years of serving the guests of Door County in an exemplary manner, makes her an ideal choice for the Hospitality Worker Award."
"She works extremely hard, she always goes above and beyond to please all her customers."
Sand Bay Beach Resort
"We go there every year. Karyn makes us feel like we are staying with family. She is fun, energetic, and kind."
"Karyn is an amazing host. She is always going out of her way to help others and make sure everyone's needs are met. She is loving, kind and makes me feel at home when we stay with her."
"The hospitality sector is a tough industry, and one that drives Door County. Karyn Stroschein, along with her business co-owner and husband Dale, remains committed to providing first-rate experiences for all resort guests. Karyn doesn't take a back seat to the daily resort operations; she does it all! Amid the staffing issues affecting Door County, Karyn has put her own vacations on the back-burner as she steps up to keep the resort running successfully. Karyn is not only a welcoming, fun, and generous business owner, she might as well be a Door County ambassador! She truly deserves recognition."
"Karyn is an amazing host and a wonderful representation of Door County hospitality. As a Door County native, Karyn loves Door County. And it shows to everyone who stays at her resort. The care she has for her pristine Door County beach, waterfront property and surrounding grounds is impeccable. She also goes above and beyond for her guests. From organizing a traditional Supper Club Tour to flowers (arranged by her) in their room for special occasions. She is truly a Door County gem!"
Macready Artisan Bread Company
"Steve always welcomes you with a smile and thanks you for stopping at Macready's."
Macready Artisan Bread Company
"Sue is a joy to work with, she always has a smile is concerned about the customers and always helping others."
Macready Artisan Bread Company
"Sue is such a pleasure to work with she is always upbeat and concerned of the customers and the other staff."
"He knows his profession very well! He’s extremely knowledgeable not only about the food he serves, but is very well rounded in many foods, food regions, various spicing cultures, and wines. He uses this knowledge and experience to help explain in great yet simple detail to his customers making it very easy for them to understand. His professionalism is unmatched and maybe most importantly, he is absolutely never in a bad mood!"
The Fireside Restaurant
"Mary works tirelessly helping us reinvent ourselves as COVID changes our industry. She looses sleep tweaking ideas to make them work more efficiently. And she’s not afraid to pivot when necessary. Mary is the rare type of person who works like she is the one paying the bills."
"Mary sacrifices so much to provide for her family. She is an excellent public relations employee. This has been such a challenging year with guests who are less than kind. It has hurt me to see my strong friend in tears over rude customers. She needs a break."
Harbor Fish Market & Grille
"Michael is usually the first person that you see when you arrive. He always great you with a hello and a smile. He is concerned about you well being and how he can assist you. He interacts with the customers and staff keeping everyone upbeat. He always thanks you for coming and welcomes you back."
Jenny and Mike Macready
Macready Artisan Bread Company
"Jenny and Mike are such wonderful people to work with. The appreciate their staff and are concerned about the satisfaction of every customer. They know many customers by name and interact with them. They keep their staff happy and show concern of their well being."
"Tina, despite being older, works extremely long hours waiting on table, bartending, hostessing and doing office work but always has a great laugh and sense of humor, interacts with her guests well, is kind & considerate of everyone and very even tempered."
A Little Bit of Coffee
"Emma has worked at the Square Rigger since she was 13. Started cleaning and became a leader at an early age. Emma can step into any place where needed; being cleaning, office and barista. Emma has taken ownership in the coffee shop and leads by example. Scheduling the employees, dealing with the vendors, creating new recipes. Emma is one of a kind and one an employer would wish for many more."
Nordic Lodge LLC & Lullabi Inn
"Lacey has received the nomination of being the hospitality worker for this award. Lacey started working in Door County in 2017. Lacey is a very hard working employee and deserves recognition. This hard worker is the manager of the Lullabi Inn (Egg Harbor) and the Regional Manager of the Nordic Lodge (in Sister Bay) and several other hotels in Northern Wisconsin and has been exceptional in her service to visitors and locals alike. She is a single mother of three children and maintains a positive attitude amidst all of her responsibilities. Lacey is a shining example of exemplary service and dedication to her guests and community. Not only does she work 7 days a week during the busiest months (Tourist Season) in DC but she also works in the "off-season as well to accommodate her guests for the upcoming season(s)."
Door County Coffee
"Sam is the café manager for us and works so hard to accommodate all employees, whether that means she covers shifts when they need off, or she fills in every spot from drive thru to cooking, and more. She always has a positive attitude, no matter how many days in a row she has worked and after a really tough year personally, she deserves this break so she can go somewhere, catch her breath and come back refreshed."
USPS - Sturgeon Bay
"I've personally experienced from working at the Sturgeon Bay Post Office, Tom goes above and beyond to be sure that all of our residents and businesses receive their mail as well as packages within a timely manner. During these challenging times and how Covid has affected several of our businesses, Tom has also assisted at the Egg Harbor Post Office due to a shortage of help. People take the USPS for granted and it's a very tough job, I commend Tom for also keeping all of his staffing healthy and on task!"
Mary Kate Bernier
Kick Ash Products
"Mary Kate moved here from Racine to take the job at Kick Ash. She started her job with us right during the COVID transition. She has helped us hurdle over the obstacles and has done it like a champ. She is incredibly reliable, humble, kind, hard-working and always has her coworkers back. She has been such a positive force on our team and we all love her dearly. We are thankful for the steady leadership of Mary Kate during a time when many things seemed uncertain! This is why she deserves recognition!"
Eagle Harbor Inn
"Vincenta (Chenta) has been with Eagle Harbor Inn for 21 years! Through the years she has brought a cheerful, willingness to get the job done whether it was by coming in on a day off, working super hard to meet guests arriving or suggesting possible future staff. She knows lots of return guests who love to see her when visiting. She is our Gem!"
High Point Inn
"Being understaffed, she worked her tail off to make sure people had their rooms ready and clean. Often taking on other jobs within business to help out."
Inn at Cedar Crossing
"Deb is quite simply the kindest human. She is the "Mrs. Rogers" in my neighborhood. Deb has been working for over 30 years as an innkeeper at the Inn at Cedar Crossing. Deb has built lasting relationships both with guests and small businesses all over this county. SHE is the reason they continue to come back year after year to celebrate their anniversary. SHE is the reason guests are excited to see a play at peninsula players. Deb's love and appreciation for this county is felt by each person she interacts with. Deb has raised the kids that have been her co-workers. Those kids, who are now adults, swing by just to see how Deb is doing. Deb's heart is felt by so many in our community."
Glacier Ledge Restaurant at Door Artisan Cheese
"Rachael started working with us with no kitchen experience. In the 3 years she has been here, she has been open to growth and learning and is now second in command! She shows up every day with a "can-do" attitude and makes it happen! Over this summer (2021) it was just Rachael and our Chef, and she never complained, just continued to do her best to provide amazing food to all our customers. Rachael ROCKS!"
Old Post Office
"She is the hardest working, most cheerful person I know in Door County."
Healthy Way Market
"Ernesto is very polite and always has a smile on his face. He enjoys setting up displays to make them look just right. He has great attention to visual detail and is very knowledgeable about the store's products. Ernesto is very personable and knows a lot of customers by name. I want to nominate Ernesto because it would be wonderful for him to receive recognition for his dedication and hard work."
Pine Grove Resort
"This was Rita's first full year as our General Manager and she was an amazing asset. Despite having to deal with COVID restrictions and less workers during a record breaking season, we received a lot of guest feedback praising the how beautiful the grounds looked, how very clean the rooms were and how pleasant all the employees were. She had the ability to make it a fun and productive work environment for everyone and it showed."
Pheasant Park Resort
"As an owner at Pheasant Park Resort, I feel compelled to nominate Cindy for this award. In spite of severe employee shortages, Covid, and an increase of bookings, Cindy is always kind, patient, friendly and welcoming. She has been working six days a week, sacrificing her own family and personal time to ensure a wonderful stay for our guests in beautiful Door County. She is the first point of contact for most visitors to the resort, whether at the front desk or on the phone when making a reservation. As a long time Door County resident, her knowledge of places, people, and things to do in Door County is appreciated by everyone. She is the epitome of hospitality! Give Pheasant Park a call, and see for yourself!"
Best Western Maritime Inn
"This high spirited woman goes above and beyond for others. She has been at this business for well over 8 years now; started working while in school; being promoted to management a few years ago. She is a hard worker who’s always willing to do more than what’s asked of her; whether it be picking up shifts without complaint, coming in early if needed and always being available and understanding of others and their needs/limitations. Without a doubt, one of the best managers I have ever worked with. Also, too be fair, I’ve worked many places all throughout Door county over the years, this being the best in my experience."
"Nina gives up most of her summer days to continue to serve the Door County community, which is the community her and I have called home for 18+ years."
"No one needs a break more."
"I am nominating Sam as the hospitality worker who deserves some time away. He does more than just serve his customers at Chop Restaurant, which he does with a constant smile behind his mask. Besides Sam working super busy nights at Chop, he also works mornings at Church Hill Inn in housekeeping, to keep rooms ready for guests. He is also very active with the Sister Bay Liberty Grove Fire Dept and is an EMT for Door County EMS. Sam takes few days off for himself, he prefers to keep busy meeting new people and helping those in need. Did I mention he works this hard and was still able to graduate from college by the age of 20?"
"Sam is the friendliest server on the peninsula. He is quick witted and his recommendations for what to see and do on vacation are on pointe! Sam will even remember you after several months when you return. He is a hard working that truly care about the quality of your food and experience at Chop."
Destination Sturgeon Bay
"Pam has brought some wonderful new ideas to the city of Sturgeon Bay - especially during Covid. She is so innovative and has such a passion for her community. I don't know a harder worker than Pam - especially when she is helping local businesses!"
The Mill Supper Club
"Cory does it all! He does all the behind the scenes things like prepping the salad bar items, getting chicken ready for Sunday and Wednesday, prime rib for Thursday and Saturday. Preps the German entrees etc. you see were I’m going with this. He mops the dining room, cleans the bathrooms etc. Then he is in the dining room every night and if you’ve been there you’ve see him in action, he is the host, busser, issue solver, goes in back helps with dishes or cooking or whatever is needed. Helps in the bar. He treats his staff like family and goes above and beyond to accommodate everyone’s needs. I feel he is very deserving of this and should be recognized!!!"
"First, Cory has a way of making every customer feel like they are special. He also does that with his entire work staff, he will carry out trays if he sees you're busy, and rolls up his sleeves and pitches in wherever he is needed. He even goes beyond this and has loaned out his personal vehicle to a staff member that had car issues. He basically works 7 days a week to provide others a wonderful dinning experience. I don't think he's ever taken a vacation."
High Point Inn
"Missy is the best! Her sunny disposition and welcoming spirit keeps guests returning to our resort. Her staff respects her and she is a wonderful ambassador for Door County!"
Peninsula Antique Center
"Very nice to all workers and booth holders. Very helpful to and friendly to all customers. Promotes Door County Businesses when asked questions of where to go."
"Jeanette is the manager for Pennisula Antique Center near Egg Harbor. She greets customers when they enter the antique mall. Jeanette will ask customers if they are looking for items or if they need help to see an item in a booth or display case. If customers do not find an item she will call antique dealers in the mall to see if they have that particular item. Jeanette also works behind the counter handling the sales of items that customers are buying. She developed and maintains displays and different ares of the mall. Jeanette handles the record keeping of the mall as well as communication in with the different dealers in the mall and the mall customers."
Seaquist Orchards Farm Market
"Julie is a warm and personable person who offers service with a smile. She helps to train new cashiers at Seaquist; she is patient and kind. The customers who go through her register know she is attentive to their needs, whether it be wrapping something fragile or finding a box or bag that will hold their purchase. She is a competent employee who knows where to find things in the warehouse to restock the shelves. She is never too tired to give a smile and a kind word. She has been a loyal employee at Seaquist for many years. She takes care of her elderly mother when she isn't working. She was born in Door County and has never been anywhere else, so I would like to see her be able to get the plane ticket voucher."
"She is a very dedicated worker and goes out of her way to help where ever she is needed. She is very pleasant to her co-workers and customers. If you go often she remembers what you normally order. She always has a smile . A great person to know."
"Angie is the hardest working, most dedicated and reliable person I have ever met! She will do anything for her family and friends and goes above and beyond for her coworkers and customers. Not only is she always a lending a helping hand she is always taking the opportunity (that most people wouldn’t take) to be a leader, take charge and solve problems quickly and efficiently. If you’ve ever worked with Angie you know how lucky you are to have her as a trainer and coworker. She gives her best every day and helps her team do the same. I have never met anyone who has a stronger work ethic than Angie. She doesn’t take the breaks and the days off that she earns and most definitely deserves. If anyone could be awarded a trip, it’s Angie Dequaine."
"This young man works endless hours for the business and works multiple jobs. Jesper is there from 6:00 am till 10:00 pm many days and works everyday. He does multiple jobs on any given day. You’ll see him as a prep cook, line cook and dishwasher in the restaurant. You’ll see him cooking at the Kok, outdoor kitchen for the bar . You’ll see him as a bar back for the Stabbur Beer Garden. You’ll see him hauling goats to put on the roof or taking them down. He will be mowing the grass roof on the restaurant. And finally you’ll see him helping his dad Rolf and doing anything asked of him by others. Jesper works very hard day after day and you can count on him. This young man deserves a nomination and definitely deserves to win. Most visitors or locals don’t see the hospitality workers behind the scenes but they are the hardest working people in businesses in Door County. Let’s have a winner for one of those hospitality workers. I’ve worked with many people through the years and Jesper Johnson is one of the best."
"I have been visiting Buttercups Coffee in Egg Harbor for the past three years. Karen and Dave love their clients, we have extensive conversations over coffee and confectionary and they are truly great ambassadors for Door County. They welcome people from around the world and are genuine in their interest in their clients."
Door County Fire Company
"Zach can seamlessly handle, on his own, more than 20 people at the bar. He serves, gets the tabs right for all the people individually, AND builds relationships. We've had a huge group here twice and he remembered us and worked to keep us hydrated and fed amongst many other patrons. He talks respectfully about the place and gives a lot of good background about the food (how it is all made on site, etc). He is such a pleasant guy, treating others with a friendly disposition, despite how busy it is. He deserves a day (or two or more) away!"
Husbys - Sister Bay
"Madelyn is a hard worker who always shows up with a smile. She is a great server and so friendly! "
Bread & Water, LLC
"Matthew has an extraordinary work ethnic. Summer season, 2021, he worked at Bread & Water, LLC, Washington Island six days a week as chef from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Many afternoons he would take a half hour break and report to Nelsen's Hall to work in the kitchen. On his days off, he went into the outdoors to renew in communion with nature. In response to unprecedented numbers of travelers, challenges of self-care, privilege of team building, resistance to blame and shame (staff dynamics), in the interests of personal and professional growth in the midst of a high stress environment, Matthew said: "we can make this work. If Jesus fed multitudes with very few things, we are capable of serving many with very few hands. Everyone is broken but it's also about how you are able to persevere through it. It's like Robin Williams said; "you never know what someone else is going through. Be kind always." In rehab, I learned life is a challenge always and if it wasn't, we weren't doing it right. I think and pray for that peace that surpasses everyone's understanding. Presently, during the winter season, Matthew is living in Sturgeon Bay and working at McDonalds. He is a faithful and trustworthy hospitality worker with tremendous resilience and perseverance. August, when Covid became present again on Washington Island following the Washington Island Fair, Matthew was agreed to closing the dining room while transitioning to outdoor dining and placement of a port-o-can in outdoor dining space and carrying on. He stayed late and came early the next day to help make the needed adjustments. We didn't miss a beat nor change our open hours with his contribution and accommodation for contributing to and engaging nimble, adaptive change while continuing to turn out quality food for island residents and travelers. I am the cherry pie maker at Bread & Water. He would always put my oven trays parchment ready when for my pie baking without me asking. When garbage detail was needed, he could see from the window and came to lend a hand to help get the job done. He preps with commitment for his shift and those coming after and he cleans up before he leaves each shift."
"Kind, helpful, caring. Good customer service."
The Mill Supper Club
"My wife retired 7 years ago but went back to work as a server partly due to the shortage of workers here in Door County."
Shipwrecked Brew Pub & Restaurant
"Jordanne consistently receives high praises and thank you's from her customers, meeting and exceeding their expectations with her attention to their needs. She routinely goes above and beyond the normal customer service experience to keep her customers happy and glad they stopped in at Shipwrecked. Born and raised in Door County (Washington Island) she is a great ambassador of our happy place we call home!"
Wilson's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor
"As you can see from Jacob's job title(s) he really can do it all! He's worked for us the last few years and this season has gone above and beyond helping out in any area where he was needed. He was an incredible team player this year and I'm very thankful that he's part of our Wilson's family. He's definitely well-deserving of a vacation!"
"Jacob is truly a very kind person. I always had noticed that he would engage himself to a conversation with just anyone including myself who is a Deaf person and he is especially very open-minded to learn about American Sign Language (ASL), my Deaf Identity and culture. I really enjoyed teaching him signs and loved working along with him at Wilson’s for two years!"
"Jacob is an extremely hard worker, always making sure everything is clean and taken care of before he heads out the door. And he has fun with it!"
Next Door Neighbor Concierge and Cleaning
"Kelsey stepped up and worked extremely hard for our business cleaning vacation rentals this past season. She not only did impeccable work with her scheduled cleanings, but took on jobs that came up as tourists made last minute reservations at the vacation rentals that our business works with. Our business always knew we could count on her to get these time-sensitive jobs done, which took stress off of us as business owners. She paid attention to detail in all her work, always with the guests in mind. She wanted guests to enjoy their visit to Door County. Kelsey is a valuable, hard-working, and reliable team member in our business and we are so fortunate to have her working for Next Door Neighbor Concierge and Cleaning."