At annual meeting, Visit Duluth presents new hospitality sector award

Zenith Spirit award winner Lynette Sims, second from left, is congratulated by, from left, Holiday Inn Express Duluth North General Manager Brianna VanderHeyden. Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown Duluth GM Gerry Goldfarb, and Reservation Manager Rebecca Holappa.

 of the Holiday Inn Express Duluth North is next to Lynette.   Rebecca Holappa, Reservation Manager is next to me.  

At its annual meeting Tuesday, Visit Duluth presented its first Zenith Spirit Award, which was created to acknowledge those who go above and beyond in the hospitality sector. Nominations were submitted by supervisors, which were then reviewed by a committee made up of Visit Duluth board members.

The winner, Lynette Sims, is a laundry attendant at the Holiday Inn & Suites Duluth – Downtown. She has been in that role for 41 years this August. General Manager Gerry Goldfarb said he thought of Sims, her dedication and her patience, as soon as he heard about the nominations.

“Being Duluth’s largest hotel with 338 rooms, it is truly amazing how much laundry is taken care of and cleaned by Lynette and the entire laundry team each day for our guests to enjoy Duluth to its fullest,” Goldfarb said in a public recognition. “Lynette’s dedication symbolizes the spirit that makes our tourism industry so great!”

The award was presented by Mayor Emily Larson.

Visit Duluth also recognized two other outstanding employees as honorable mentions: Linda Roe, an employee of Budget Rent-a-Car for 25 years, and Lori Dowd, a server at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill in Canal Park for 13 years.

More than 17,000 people work in Duluth’s tourism industry, interacting with millions who visit Duluth each year.