Restaurant and Hotel Industry Members Honored by Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
[Wilsonville, OR] – The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) will honor five members of Oregon’s foodservice and lodging industry as Oregon Hospitality Award recipients later this month. Demetrio De La O Rendon (Lakeshore Inn) was named Employee of the Year, Crystal Brenneman (Dixie Tavern) was named Team Leader of the Year, Taran Patel (A-1 Hospitality) was named Lodging Operator of the Year, and Lisa Schroeder (Mother’s Bistro & Bar) was named Restaurateur of the Year. Risk Strategies Company | Fournier Group is recognized as ORLA’s Allied Partner of the Year.
“Oregon’s hospitality industry is filled with remarkable, passionate people who go above and beyond on a daily basis because they love what they do,” says Jason Brandt, President and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “These recipients represent not only some of our industry’s most dedicated team members and advocates, but also the exemplary service that sets the high standard for the entire industry to achieve.”
Nominated by their peers, these award recipients will be recognized in front of an expected 250 delegates at the ORLA Hospitality Conference September 30–October 2, held at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites in Ashland, Oregon. These statewide awards recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and businesses serving the hospitality industry and communities throughout the state.
Demetrio De La O Rendon has worked as the maintenance engineer for the Lakeshore Inn in Lake Oswego the past seven years. His reputation among coworkers as a hardworking and caring employee also transcends to guests who continually praise his work and compliment his helpful nature. There isn’t a task asked of him he isn’t willing to do and he is always first to offer assistance to coworkers and guests whenever he sees a need. With a humble nature, Demetrio is a “favorite coworker” among the entire team and always wears a smile on his face no matter how tough the day’s challenges have been.
As manager of the Dixie Tavern in Portland, Crystal Brenneman epitomizes what a dynamic team leader represents with her dedicated service-mentality, passion for hospitality, and guidance as a role model for her colleagues. Before she stepped into her manager role, Crystal learned every position at the tavern, including maintenance. Referred to as “the backbone of Dixie,” Crystal enjoys serving as the unofficial ambassador for the tavern, always making guests feel welcome with her patience and positive energy. Coworkers are galvanized with her daily mantra at the start of every shift, “It’s going to be a great night!”
Taran Patel grew up in the hospitality industry, watching his parents grow their business from a 36-room motel to a premier hotel property management company with 12 properties in A-1 Hospitality Group's portfolio. Driven by the American Dream, he learned the meaning of hard work from a young age. Starting in operations and development, he helped cultivate the supportive company culture created by his parents. Under Taran’s guidance, the hotels not only provided needed support to their communities during the pandemic, they continued to stay open to ensure their team members were able to keep their jobs and support their families through difficult times. He is recognized by his colleagues as a hard-working and engaged industry operator. Taran's contributions extend beyond A-1 Hospitality, as he dedicates his time to several industry boards and organizations, including serving as NW Regional Director on the Board for the Asian American Hotel Owner Association (AAHOA).
Executive Chef and Owner of Mother’s Bistro & Bar, Lisa Schroeder has created a Portland institution, providing “better-than-authentic” renditions of traditional home-cooked dishes from recipes derived from real mothers in their own homes. Inspired by her own mother who was a hard-working single mom (and amazing in the kitchen), Lisa’s tenacity and passion for “Mother Food” helped her dream of opening Mother’s Bistro become reality. Lisa also extends a dedicated commitment to help her community by actively participating in charitable causes and civic engagement. Lisa was recently recognized as Oregon Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Oregon’s hospitality industry is fortunate to have dedicated purveyors focused on providing the best products and services to help operators run a successful business. Risk Strategies Company | Fournier Group is one of those companies that stands out for their exceptional service and innovative contributions to the industry. Through a unique partnership, the association was able to launch the Hospitality Insurance Program (HIP), helping business owners navigate the insurance landscape and providing tools to help them take better control of their business.
For more information on the ORLA Hospitality Awards, visit www.Oregonrla.org/nominate. To learn more or register for the Hospitality Conference, visit www.ORLAHospitalityConference.com.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon. A not-for-profit trade organization, ORLA represents over 3,000 member units and advocates for over 10,000 foodservice locations and over 2,400 lodging establishments in Oregon. The hospitality industry is the second largest business sector behind healthcare. In 2022, our industry provided over 197,000 jobs to working Oregonians and brought in over $10.9 billion in annual sales for Oregon.