The Vermont Chamber Hospitality Awards are an important part of the Vermont tourism and hospitality sector. These awards celebrate the hospitality and tourism industry’s vast contributions to the state economy, and acknowledge these award winners as stand-out achievers within the industry. These are the individuals who enhance Vermont’s iconic brand.
We ask you to participate in this recognition process by nominating your favorite restaurant or hotel, or someone who does a great job as a leader in the tourism industry.
Read below about each of the four Vermont Chamber Hospitality Awards presented annually. Nominations open in November.
CHEF OF THE YEAR: Chef Christian Kruse, Basin Harbor Club
The Chef of the Year Award recognizes an individual with a proven history of supporting Vermont’s agricultural economy through the use of local food and products. Chef Kruse is extremely passionate about the industry and the employees that are involved in our very extensive food and beverage operation at Basin Harbor Club. He has high expectations and holds every one of his employees to them.
Chris has worked for Basin Harbor for 11 years from an intern rising to the Executive Chef. Chris utilizes local food vendors throughout the State including his own on site sources.
RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR: Doug Paine, Juniper at Hotel Vermont
The Restaurateurs of the Year Award honors restaurateurs who continue to demonstrate excellence in the operation and management of a restaurant in Vermont. Chef Douglas Paine is a born and raised Vermonter who deeply appreciates the bounty that Vermont has to offer and showcases that bounty at every turn. He is the creative chef behind Bleu Northeast Seafood and Juniper restaurant in Hotel Vermont. Chef Paine seeks out partnerships with local farmers and producers to raise awareness on environmental issues, to bring Vermonters together, and to further promote our state to a widening audience.
BORDEN E. AVERY INNKEEPER OF THE YEAR: Walter Blasberg, North Hero House
The Borden E. Avery Innkeeper of the Year Award is designed specifically for individuals who continue to demonstrate excellence in the operation and management of a Vermont bed & breakfast, inn or hotel.
Walter has dedicated himself fulltime over the past 20 years to innkeeping and improving the guests’ lodging and dining experiences. A UVM graduate, Mr. Blasberg returned to Vermont after a long career in investment management and purchased the historic North Hero House in 1997.
TOURISM PARTNER OF THE YEAR: Laura Parette, Laura Parette Design
The Tourism Partner of the Year Awards, formerly known as the Allied Member of the Year, is designed for an individual who is a leader in supporting and promoting the hospitality industry in Vermont. Laura Parette has been an amazing partner to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and to the State. Her attention to detail, guidance and knowledge of the Vermont tourism industry has been an incredible asset in designing the official tourism publications and attractions map. She is a great champion of the Vermont brand and is a trusted team member working to promote Vermont in a unified way.
The Vermont Chamber Hospitality Awards are presented annually at the Vermont Tourism Summit which draws one of the largest gatherings of tourism professionals in the state including owners, managers, and employees of the many businesses connected to this important segment of the economy. In addition to the four Vermont Chamber of Commerce Hospitality Awards to be presented, VTS also features the presentation of the Travel Person of the Year award, the Governor’s SMART Award for Creative Marketing in Tourism, and one hospitality scholarship recipient is recognized.