On May 8, the Omaha Metropolitan Area (OMA) Tourism Awards took place at the Mid-America Center. Pottawattamie County was proud to have 40 of their front-line tourism employees nominated for an award at the annual luncheon.

The OMA Tourism Awards are hosted as a team effort between the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Omaha, and Sarpy County Tourism. The awards honor employees from Pottawattamie, Douglas, and Sarpy County who work in hotel, restaurant/catering, attractions, and retail industries.

Pottawattamie County Nominees

Ana Amaral – Holiday Inn @ Ameristar

Ruby Bentley – Bentley East Inc., Macedonia Tourism

Tami Cull – 712 Eat & Drink

Pati Diaz-Martinez – Holiday Inn Express Council Bluffs

Eunice Dzodzomenyo – Best Western Plus Omaha Airport Inn

Jon Fenner – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Dave Fischer – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Kathy Fiscus – Pottawattamie Countywide Tourism Committee, Watta Way

Mike Fox – Ameristar Casino and Hotel

Jeff Franco – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Pat Gallagher – Mid-America Center

Chad Graeve – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Jay Hartong – Barley’s

Shannon Henson – Buck Snort

Oscar Hernandez – 712 Eat & Drink

Gordon D. Hitchcock – Gordon Hitchcock Massage

Tiffeny Hodtwalker – Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Cody Hytrek – Barley’s

Chad Kunze – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Rheanna Lauffer – Courtyard by Marriott

Jean Lien – Mid-America Center

Cathy Nielsen – Caesars at Mid-America Center

Sharon Oamek – Honey Creek Creamery

Christine Patterson – Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Ryan Penney – Pottawattamie County Conservation

George Poulos – Pizza King

Joe Prine – Mid-America Center

Elly Reed – Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Nancy Schomburg – The Olive Branch

Jodi Schunning – Glory Days

Mark Shoemaker – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Kate Simmons – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Gayle Strickland

Rene Stroud – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Susana Tapia-Mejia – Best Western Plus Omaha Airport Inn

Joe Volquartsen – Mid-America Center

Brandon Vorthmann – Mid-America Center

Becca Wiggins – Dusted Charm

Macee Wise – Holiday Inn Express Council Bluffs

Kody Wohlers – Pottawattamie County Conservation

Pottawattamie County Finalists

Ana Amaral – Finalist for Hotels – Outstanding Guest Services award

Jean Lien – Finalist for Attractions – Outstanding Guest Services award

George Poulos – Finalist for Restaurants/Catering – Best Front of the House award

Susana Tapia-Mejia – Finalist for Outstanding Service in Hotels Operations award

Brandon Vorthmann – Finalist for Outstanding Service in Attraction Operations award

Becca Wiggins – Finalist for Retail Outlets – Outstanding Customer Service

Pottawattamie County Award Winners

Congratulations to Christine Patterson and Gayle Strickland who won awards in their nomination categories of Outstanding Manager of the Year and Outstanding Volunteer, respectively.


If you know any of these amazing folks, be sure to congratulate them on all their hard work. We are so proud of our county’s amazing tourism employees.

Didn’t see a nominee from your favorite hotel, restaurant, or attraction? Be sure to vote next year! Follow OMA Tourism Awards on Facebook for updates.

This post was originally published on May 7, 2019 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.