Our hospitality workers are everyday heroes who go above and beyond to help others, especially in times of crisis. Whether they work in hotels, restaurants, shops, or other attractions, they’re often the first faces guests see. Hospitality workers put their best foot forward to warmly welcome out-of-town guests and residents alike. HoCo is showing its gratitude for them and everything they do because their work is critical to our community and they deserve to be celebrated!

Check back often as more HoCo Gratitude spotlight workers are added throughout the year!

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Rodney Burley @ Clark's Farm Logo

Rodney Clarks Farm

Enchanted Express Train Driver, Clark's Elioak Farm

Rodney has been the conductor of the Enchanted Express since 2018.

What is your favorite thing about working in the hospitality industry?

"My favorite thing is watching and seeing that look of excitement, wonder and joy in a child’s eyes when they discover and experience something new at the farm."

What do you want your customers to know about working in hospitality?

"I love helping families explore our farm and have a wonderful day enjoying themselves. I work every day with a wonderful team of folks who also care about giving all of our visitors a great experience."

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Rene Ordonez @ CA logo

 

Special Projects Foreman, Open Space Operations, Columbia Association

Rene Ordonez has been with CA for nearly 20 years! 

What is your favorite thing about working in the hospitality industry?CA Rene

"I like knowing that what we are doing here at CA - whether it's providing quality community events, keeping the open space beautiful or maintaining facilities - is enriching the lives of the people in my community."

What do you want your customers to know about working in hospitality?

"I want everyone I'm serving in my community to know that they are top of mind. My intention is always to do a good job for them."

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Rachel Bilter @  White Oak Logo

Rachel White Oak

 

Bartender, White Oak Tavern

Rachel has been tending bar at the White Oak Tavern for 1 year. 

What is your favorite thing about working in the hospitality industry?

All of the interesting interactions

What do you want your customers to know about working in hospitality?

It's not glamorous but its an honest livingLine

 

Mark Minnick @ Toby Logo

Mark Toby's

Associate Producer, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Mark has been with Toby's Dinner Theatre for 15 years!

What is your favorite thing about working in the hospitality industry?

"My favorite thing about working in this industry is connecting people from all kinds of backgrounds and communities with the shared experience of live theatre. People coming together to laugh and cry at our shows can break down barriers and foster compassion and understanding and I love and value being a part of that."

What do you want your customers to know about working in hospitality?

"I'd like people to know that I, and the people who work in this industry, do it for love. We do it because we care about people and care about creating a unique, special experience for people. We want people to feel good, we want to be a part of your family's memories. I love watching multiple generations visit us and knowing we're a part of their family traditions."

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Tia Major @ Residence Inn

HoCo Grad Residence Inn

Sales Manager @ Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia

Tia has been in her position as Sales Manager for 1 extraordinary month!

What is your favorite thing about working in the hospitality industry?

"My favorite thing is the high I get from helping others achieve their goals and looking their best in the eyes of others. Whether it's a beautiful bride who needs great rooms to impress her new in-laws or a new office coordinator who's nervous because she has to book rooms for her company's COO. Getting them through the process with kindness and patience plus understanding that their needs are important to me, really helps them a great deal. However, the joy on their faces and the smiles in their voices telling me that everything worked out great... is the biggest thrill for me which is truly my favorite thing."

What do you want your customers to know about working in hospitality?

"OMGGGGG.... CHANGE! Definitely change is something we have to be comfortable with in the hospitality industry. I say this because everyday can be different with customers' expectations, reservations, meetings, events, staffing, heck even the weather which can cause damage and we will have to completely change spaces and guestrooms at a moment's notice. So, while all "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks" is breaking loose behind the scenes, we never run. We strut, keep calm and make the changes so that our customers can relax, unwind and continue to enjoy their stay."

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