Arnold, Treas Recognized as Music City Hitmakers; Rooney Presented with Annual Award
Industry program recognizes employees who provide extraordinary customer service
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The hospitality industry has named Gary Arnold of Renaissance Hotel and Joe Mack Treas of Hilton Nashville Downtown as Music City Hitmakers for the months of February and March for their excellent customer service to Nashville visitors. Additionally, Shannon Rooney of Loews Vanderbilt Hotel was presented the 2013 Annual Hitmaker Award during National Travel & Tourism Week, an honor given each May to one of the monthly winners who received the greatest accolades throughout the year.
The Music City Hitmakers program honors those individuals who go above and beyond in providing extraordinary service to ensure an authentic Music City experience. The program encourages Nashville visitors to nominate individuals who provide the truest southern hospitality during their stay.
“From taxi drivers and gas station owners to hotel desk clerks and tour guides, this is where it really counts – that direct one-on-one contact between our hospitality professionals and visitors,” said Pam Wright, chair of Music City Hitmakers and president of Wright Travel. “Nashville is known as one of the best places to visit in the world because of professionals like Gary, Joe Mack and Shannon and it is imperative we recognize and support their excellent customer service.”
Gary Arnold was nominated for going out of his way to assist a visitor who was holding a conference for 400 attendees at the Renaissance Hotel. The theme of the meeting was “ZERO.” At the last minute, the visitor and his colleagues thought it would be a nice gesture to provide “ZERO” candy bars to all of the conference participants. Not having transportation or time, he contacted the hotel for help, but was told it was unlikely they could fill the request in time. About an hour later, the visitor received a call back from the convention services manager, who said that Gary Arnold, a fellow employee, went out of his way to find the candy bars and rushed them to the hotel loading dock. The visitor writes in his nomination, “My hats off to Mr. Gary Arnold for making it his mission to make the customers’ wishes come true and for making a mad dash to SAMS for us without interruption.”
Two first-time visitors from South Carolina nominated Joe Mack Treas for his help in a difficult situation. The couple won a trip to Nashville to see the CMT Awards for their 35th wedding anniversary. While on their trip, the husband became very sick and they made arrangements to leave early. The wife became very concerned about how she was going to check out of the hotel and get her husband some help and then to the airport the next day, as they were in a strange city without a car. In addition to assisting the couple in making all of the necessary changes to their travel plans, Treas made special arrangements for an ambulance to take the husband to the hospital. He stayed in touch with the couple while they were at the hospital. After it was determined the husband was able to fly, Treas personally made sure their bags met them at the airport and that they made their flight on time. In the nomination, the couple wrote that “the minute they approached Mr. Treas with [their] problem, it became his problem also. Without his support, we would have never made it home.”
As one of the 2012-13 monthly Hitmakers, Shannon Rooney was presented with a special annual award during the Hospitality Industry Annual Luncheon on May 23. Rooney’s original nomination came as a result of his extraordinary efforts to help an Australian couple travelling home following their vacation in Nashville. After arriving in Memphis, the couple – who was scheduled to fly back to Australia the next morning – realized they left their passports and currency valued at more than $1000 in the safe at their Loews Vanderbilt hotel room in Nashville. Rooney received their call and was able to recover the items from the room, but took his efforts a step further by driving 180 miles to Memphis to return the lost property. The visitors were amazed at Rooney’s unbelievable efficiency and effort and expressed their gratitude to Rooney for resolving their circumstance.
2012-13 Monthly Winners include:
April 2012 – Alison Bradsher, Fiddle and Steel Guitar Bar
May 2012 – James Stevenson, Nashville Airport Marriott
June 2012 – Shannon Rooney, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
July 2012 – Ron Harman, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
August 2012 – Regina Hicks, (Nominated at Loews, now works at MCC)
September 2012 – Pamela Johnson, Hotel Indigo
October 2012 – Rhonda Christiani, Homewood Suites Downtown
November 2012 – Marina Melika, Renaissance Nashville Hotel
December 2012 – George Gerges, Melrose Mini Mart
January 2013 – Nelson Miranda and Corey Webb, Nashville Airport Marriott
February 2013 – Gary Arnold, Renaissance Nashville Hotel
March 2013 – Joe Mack Treas, Hilton Nashville Downtown
Monthly Hitmaker winners receive a lapel pin that distinguishes them a Hitmakers, a $100 restaurant gift card, admission for two to area attractions, a certificate of recognition, and a video highlight feature on www.visitmusiccity.com. Additionally, winners are eligible for the annual Hitmaker award presented each May.
The Music City Hitmakers program is supported by Wright Travel, Regions Bank, the Nashville Business Journal and the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association. To learn more, visit www.visitmusiccity.com/hitmakers.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com.