NAOMI Mulkeen has plenty to smile about - she’s beaming after winning The Star backed Sheffield Smile Award, writes Graham Walker.
The 20-year-old was smiles ahead in a reader poll to decide the quirky category in this year’s annual Hospitality Sheffield Awards.
They celebrate the huge contribution hospitality workers make to the city’s economy - estimated at £500 million annually.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our exclusive video report.
The Sheffield Smile Award goes to a worker who brightens everyone’s day with their warm, friendly personality, as they help to make Sheffield a destination of choice.
Naomi, in guest services at Jurys Inn Sheffield, is studying tourism management at Sheffield Hallam University.
“Guests comment on how great she is and her knack for brightening up everyone’s day with her radiant smile,” said bosses.
Celebrating with a trophy, certificate and champagne from The Star’s digital editor Graham Walker, Naomi, of Broom, Rotherham, said: “Now I can’t stop smiling. This is amazing. It’s important to smile. That’s what our guests want to see.”
Ian Slater, Chair of Hospitality Sheffield, a consortium of 30 hotels and venues, is also General Manager of The Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel.
He said: “It’s a privilege to work with people that enhance the visitor experience.”
Guest Julie Dore, Sheffield Council leader, said: “These awards honour staff who give a great impression to visitors.”
The awards, sponsored by The Star, Mercury Taxis, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield College, AV&C, cf6media.com, XTC, Dragonfly, Rhythm of Your Choice and Steel City Promotions, were hosted by BBC Look North’s Tom Ingall at Tankersley Manor Hotel, where £1,000 was raised for Sheffield charity Freeman College.
Other winners: Exceptional Customer Service: Glenn Clark, Sheffield City Hall; Innovator: Sales Team, The Rutland Hotel Sheffield; Unsung Hero: Ann Mitchell, Tankersley Manor. Mentor of the Year: Sarah Myatt, Tankersley Manor; Shooting Star: Linda Robinson, Aston Hotel. Team of the Year: Blue Energy, Hilton Sheffield.