DANVILLE, IN (August 25, 2015) – A Hendricks County resident who serves in the hospitality industry in Plainfield and has become known for her positive energy and welcoming attitude received statewide recognition for her service to Indiana tourism last week.
Jennifer Smith, sales director at the Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn Express in Plainfield, was one of 20 recipients of the 2015 Lieutenant Governor’s Hoosier Hospitality Awards during an afternoon ceremony on Aug. 21 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presented Smith and other honorees with their awards in conjunction with the Indiana State Fair.
“These professionals and their Hoosier hospitality are the vibrant pulse that keeps the tourism industry alive and well in the state of Indiana,” Ellspermann said. “It is a great honor to present these awards to such deserving tourism leaders whose work all too often goes unrecognized, but never unappreciated. They live out the Hoosier ideals each and every day as they are out on the front lines showing the public what makes Indiana a great place to visit.”
Smith’s hotels have a five-star rating on Trip Advisor by nearly 300 reviewers, many of whom mention her by name. She routinely goes above and beyond providing exceptional customer service such as guest baskets and special accommodations that leave her guests raving about their stay there.
In addition to her day-to-day duties at both hotels, Smith has served since 2008 on the Hendricks County Tourism Commission, which oversees the work of Visit Hendricks County. As one of nine board members, she helps chart a course for Hendricks County tourism.
“We were thrilled when Jennifer joined the Hendricks County hotel team with the Plainfield properties,” said Jaime Bohler Smith, executive director of Visit Hendricks County, “Jennifer has always sold not only her hotel but the destination as well. She is constantly aware of community events and attractions that will enhance the guests stay, and she uses the destination to sell her property. Those efforts and her willingness to go above and beyond is why she continues to bring new and repeat business to our county.”
Nominations for Hoosier Hospitality Awards are submitted by community members and destination patrons. Nominations are reviewed and winners are selected by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.
Tourism is big business in Indiana. According to data collected by Rockport Analytics, Hendricks County visitors spent $228.9 million in 2013 resulting in $133.4 million in direct economic impact that supported 4,782 jobs. Statewide, tourism supports more than 187,000 jobs, contributes $10.3 billion in revenue to Indiana businesses and is the sixth largest industry in the state, excluding government.