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Alabama Hotel & Lodging Association Honors Leonardo Maurelli as Chef of the Year,
and Engineer Charles Smith as Hospitality Employee of the Year
with Stars of the Industry Awards; Both of
The Hotel at Auburn University

AUBURN, AL (October 25, 2011) – The Hotel at Auburn University is excited to announce that five of its employees were recognized at the Alabama Stars of the Industry Awards that took place on October 24, 2011 in Birmingham, AL.  Catering and Special Events Chef Leonardo Maurelli was named Chef of the Year, and engineer Charles Smith was named the Hospitality Employee of the Year.  Laura Stirling, Director of Housekeeping; Ted Dempsey, member of the Audio/Visual Department; and Caleb Reeves, Bartender, all were finalists in their respected fields.  Reeves also participated in the Alabama Bartender Competition and took home the silver medal.     
“We are so honored and proud to have two individuals from The Hotel at Auburn University win these very prestigious awards and three others named as finalists,” said Hans van der Reijden, Managing Director of The Hotel at Auburn University.  “Chef Maurelli’s continued dedication to his craft and all of the effort he put into organizing Chefs to the Rescue, the June fundraiser event to benefit Alabama’s April tornado victims featuring 24 chefs from around the country, were some of the characteristics that helped him win his award.”
Maurelli has served as the Catering and Special Event Chef of the hotel since August 2009.  His love of food and cooking can be seen in the numerous special events he organizes for The Hotel at Auburn University throughout the year.  He often works closely with local craft brewers to develop unique menus for weekly craft beer dinners and for the hotel’s signature events – AprilFest and Oktoberfest.
Charles Smith has been an engineer at The Hotel at Auburn University since August 2009.  His commitment to going above and beyond normal job responsibilities helped him win this year’s award.  
Said van der Reijden, “Mr. Smith’s outstanding and unusual service to the property, to our guests, and to the community made him a top candidate to win the Hospitality Employee of the Year award.  We are lucky to have him as a member of our team.”
Centrally located near the shops and restaurants of downtown Auburn, AL, The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center is just a short walk from the excitement of Auburn University and a diverse array of cultural and entertainment attractions.  Whether in town for the big game, a special party, or a productive business meeting, the hotel’s 236 recently renovated guestrooms and suites offer true Southern hospitality in an ideal setting.  For a true taste of Italy, visit Ariccia Trattoria & Bar, located inside the hotel.  An open kitchen and outdoor terrace seating add character to this restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, Sunday Brunch, and offers take-out service.  Ariccia features an espresso bar and unique wine list, and has a private dining room for special events.  Located in Ariccia Trattoria & Bar, Piccolo is Auburn's only true lounge experience for specialty cocktails and a large variety of appetizers and desserts.  The menu features a variety of small plates perfect for sharing, refreshing cocktails, and piccolo bottles of champagne. Live jazz performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays (except on home football game weekends).  The property is managed by the Atlanta-based West Paces Hotel Group.  For additional information or reservations, please call (800) 228-2876 or visit


Inga Marone
Pineapple Public Relations
T:  (404) 237-3761
 3380 Hardee Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30341


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Also See: The Hotel at Auburn University in Alabama Appoints Muhammad Nadeem as the Director of Restaurant Operations / October 2011

The Hotel at Auburn University Welcomes Tim Aylsworth as New Director of Sales and Marketing / October 2010

The Hotel at Auburn University Welcomes Arif Kor as New Executive Assistant Manager of Food and Beverage / June 2009

West Paces Hotel Group Reopens the 236 room Hotel at Auburn University Following Extensive Renovations / August 2008

Auburn University Appoints Horst Schulze's West Paces Hotel Group to Manage the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center / April 2003

Horst Schulze's West Paces Hotel Group Wins Management Contract for 120 room Hotel On Campus of University of Illinois / June 2005
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