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Hospitality Rockstar Program

Recognizing exceptional employees at our partner hotels, restaurants, venues and attractions.

Minneapolis Northwest Tourism's Hospitality Rockstar Program


Minneapolis Northwest Tourism’s Hospitality Rockstar program is designed to stimulate and reward exceptional customer service by front line employees working in the hospitality community.

Hospitality Rockstars can be nominated by guests, customers, and managers at Minneapolis Northwest businesses in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Maple Grove by filling out a nomination form below.


What is a Hospitality Rockstar?

A Hospitality Rockstar is a front-line employee or volunteer who displays stellar customer service and has gone above and beyond for their guests. These are the people representing our attractions, accommodations and restaurants who can ‘make or break’ the visitor experience in Minneapolis Northwest and are vital in ensuring that visitors come visit again.

This program recognizes those who can make a good visit great, and turn a stressful and tiring day of traveling into an energizing and unforgettable experience! If you received amazing service at one of our local businesses or hotels; or have an employee who goes the extra mile, nominate them!


Hospitality Rockstar Recognition:

Hospitality Rockstars will be announced quarterly and celebrated at Minneapolis Northwest Lunch & More events. The Rockstar (and the business they work for) will be highlighted on social media and will be featured in the Minneapolis Northwest Meetings newsletter. Each quarterly winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card.

The Hospitality Rockstar of the Year will be honored at the Minneapolis Northwest Annual Meeting held in January each year. Minneapolis Northwest Board of Directors and staff will vote on a winner from the nominations received each quarter; Rockstar of the Year candidates are voted on from the pool of quarterly winners. The Rockstar of the year will receive a $500 Visa gift card.


2019 Hospitality Rockstar of the Year: Karen Flores of La Quinta Inn & Suites Minneapolis Northwest










Karen Flores was voted Hospitality Rockstar of the Year, winning a $500 Visa gift card. She was nominated by Franchise Owner & Operator Khalid Qureshi. 

Thank you Karen, and all of the hardworking, wonderful people that serve Minneapolis Northwest!



2019 Quarter 1 Winner: Dara Hardacker of Hilton Garden Inn - Maple Grove

Dara's Reaction When Recognized as the Q1 Hospitality Rockstar!

The look on Dara Hardacker's face was worth a thousand words when Minneapolis Northwest Tourism's Megan Diaz surprised her as the first quarter's winner of the Hospitality Rockstar award.

"Dara is a gem," wrote Justin Salisbury, General Manager at the hotel. "Our hotel guests love Dara and tell us in reviews and surveys again and again." Dara received a $100 Visa gift card and a framed certificate to make the award official. Dara serves breakfast and delivers her authentic, sincere brand of hospitality that guests really appreciate as they dine at the Hilton Garden Inn.





2019 Quarter 2 Winner: Victor Martinez of Best Western Plus - Minneapolis Northwest

It's not every day a staff training session becomes an award ceremony! Minneapolis Northwest Tourism's Ashlee Mueller surprised Front Desk Agent Victor Martinez with his award as the second quarter winner of Minneapolis Northwest's Hospitality Rockstar during an impromptu "training" for the staff at Best Western Plus - Minneapolis Northwest, organized by his nominator, Assistant General Manager Rocki Morales.

"Since day one Victor has gone above and beyond to make sure our guests feel welcomed from the moment they walk through the door," wrote Rocki. "He always maintains a cheerful attitude and keeps a smile on his face no matter the situation."





2019 Quarter 3 Winner: Karen Flores of La Quinta Inn & Suites Minneapolis Northwest

During a staff luncheon, Executive Housekeeper Karen Flores got quite the surprise when CCX Media cameras showed up and Minneapolis Northwest Tourism's President & CEO Dave Looby presented her with the Hospitality Rockstar award! Karen was named the third quarter winner of Minneapolis Northwest's Hospitality Rockstar award in front of the entire staff and executives from across the country at La Quinta Inn & Suites Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park. She was nominated by Franchise Owner & Operator Khalid Qureshi.

"Karen has been a loyal employee at La Quinta for eight years," wrote Khalid. "She does an excellent job and comes to work very excited each and every day. She goes above and beyond with her continuous efforts on training and follow up, along with being a great role model." Karen received a $100 Visa gift card and a framed certificate in recognition of his efforts to go above and beyond for visitors to Minneapolis Northwest. Check out the full feature on CCX Media about the program.





2019 Quarter 4 Winner: Karolyn Haller of Daily Dose Maple Grove

Regulars gathered in the popular Maple Grove coffee shop to watch Minneapolis Northwest Tourism's Ashlee Mueller and Natalie Conrad surprise beloved Manager Karolyn Haller with the Hospitality Rockstar award. The fourth quarter winner received the award and a $100 Visa gift card surrounded by the customers she serves every day, demonstrating the impact she has on her community.

Karolyn was nominated by Daily Dose co-owner Ben Havn. "Karolyn has been our Daily Dose Rockstar from day. She goes above and beyond with every customer," he told Minneapolis Northwest. "She finds out the traffic pattern of customers and makes their favorite muffin or scone that day. She also is a great mentor to our team on how to treat our customers the right way!"






The Hospitality Rockstar award is a wonderful to recognize members of the hospitality industry in Minneapolis Northwest, and it can be a complimentary extension of your company's recognition program. We appreciate leaders like Justin Salisbury, Rocki Morales, Khalid Qureshi, and Ben Havn who take the time to nominate exceptional associates. It's easy and it takes only 5 minutes to complete the online form below.

How to Nominate a Hospitality Rockstar:

Nominate a Hospitality Rockstar by filling out the form below. We also accept nominations via comment cards, online reviews and third-party review websites, such as Trip Advisor. Simply send the link with additional information on the candidate. Please send a photo of your candidate(s) on the job, if possible. Supporting documentation, if applicable, can also be sent via email.

For more information or to email a nomination, contact Ashlee Mueller at

Multiple nominees are encouraged! Please fill out a nomination form for each employee.