Lodging Association awards honor the best Park City’s hospitality industry has to offer
January 8, 2016
For Becky Kearns, it was a moment to reflect on a 40-year career and the people who had helped her find success.
A month prior, the prominent Parkite had stepped down from her longtime post as senior vice president and director of business and community development for Zions Bank. On Wednesday, the Park City Area Lodging Association sent her into retirement with its highest honor. Kearns was given the Double Black Diamond Inspiration Award for her for her contributions to the community at the association’s Black Diamond Awards, held Wednesday at Stein Eriksen Lodge.
Kearns said winning the award was shocking and an honor. She was particularly pleased she was able to share the moment with a handful of her former coworkers.
"There was a whole Zions table there, and normally at those events we don’t have a whole table," she said. "And everyone sitting there all knew that I had won the category (before I did). So to be sitting there with a group of people that were a lot of the reason that I would win an award like this was amazing. It’s not about me — it’s about having an amazing team and a great family around me in an amazing community."
The Black Diamond Awards are designed to honor those behind the scenes who make Park City a special place for those who visit. The other winners were: Mark Campbell, Stein Eriksen Lodge (lodging front of house); Maria Rodriguez, Main & Sky (lodging back of house); Jennifer Keller, Grand Summit Hotel (food and beverage front of house); Jonathon Miller, Stein Eriksen Lodge (food and beverage back of house); Jinky Gonzales, Lodges at Deer Valley (manager of the year); Brian Richards, Mountain Town Music (vendor of the year).
Miller, executive chef at Stein Eriksen Lodge, said he appreciated the recognition. It was humbling to receive the award in a room full of his peers in the hospitality industry.
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"Honestly, it was great," he said. "It was definitely one of those moments of feeling gratitude, after all the hard work that I’ve done. I’ve been here for 10 years, and the community was acknowledging some of the work that I’ve done. It was really cool in that sense."
Miller came to Park City in 2005 for his wedding, held at Stein Eriksen Lodge. He then started working at the lodge, under then-executive chef Zane Holmquist — whose title now is corporate chef — to earn enough money to move back East. But 10 years later, Park City remains his home.
He has developed a passion for attempting to give visitors a one-of-a-kind experience.
"Food is fun, but for the most part, I just love the hospitality side of things," he said. "It’s about having the guest be like, ‘You know what? That was the best thing I ever had. Thank you very much.’ Providing someone with that great experience is something that has always kind of struck me."
While the mark Miller has made on Park City is through food, Kearns’ has been through community service. She has lived in town for nearly two decades and served on many influential boards of directors, including as the inaugural chairperson of the Park City Medical Center.
She said the award was confirmation that she’s left a lasting impact on the community.
"My dad raised all of us saying, ‘Leave a community better than you found it,’" she said. "And to me, the award was kind of the exclamation mark on something that I have spent 20 years doing."
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