RI Hospitality Association honors three legislators

STATE HOUSE – Three members of the General Assembly have been honored by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, named Hospitality Ambassadors of the Year during the group’s awards dinner today.

Honored by the association were Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) and Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Cumberland, Woonsocket).

The Hospitality Ambassador of the Year awards were among several presented during the association’s Stars of the Industry awards program held at the Rhode Island Convention Center and were presented to the three legislators to recognize their efforts, as members of the General Assembly, to support and promote the efforts of the state’s hospitality industry and the many small businesses that are associated with it.

Senator Picard, who is serving his second term in the Senate (following more than a decade in the House of Representatives), is Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Corporations and a member of the Senate Committee on Labor.

Representative Kennedy is serving his 12th term in the House of Representatives. He chairs the House Committee on Corporations and is Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Oversight.

Representative Kennedy and Senator Picard were nominated for the award because of their work during the 2012 session to enact a law dealing with gift certificates/gift cards donated to charities.

Representative McNamara, currently serving his ninth term in the House, is the Chair of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, the secretary of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Oversight.

The Hospitality Association recognized Representative McNamara’s cooperation regarding legislation affecting trans-fats in foods.

The Stars of the Industry awards ceremony was created more than 20 years ago to recognize those in the restaurant and hospitality industry in Rhode Island, with the recipients chosen from individuals nominated by their employers, co-workers and customers. Among the other honorees in more than 20 categories were Lisa Doucet-Albert of Regan Communications, who received the President’s Award, and former state Representative Myrna George of the South County Tourism Council, who received the Mary Brennan tourism Award.

The RI Hospitality Association and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation serve as the voice of Rhode Island’s lodging, restaurant and tourism industry, working to benefit the industry through an exchange of ideas and information and by creating lasting relationships within the industry.