Published On: Thu, Feb 25th, 2010
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Harrah's Cherokee honors top Employees

Chairman's Award recipients (left-right) Shelly Deitz, Will Cuprak, Greg Galloway, Andrew Snyder, not pictured – Doris Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Charles Pringle/Harrah's Cherokee)

Harrah’s herokee Casino & Hotel honored its top performers at a special banquet Wednesday, presenting the 2009 Yonah of the Year  Award and 2010  Property Chairman’s Award to 10 area employees from Cherokee, Sylva, Cullowhee, Bryson City, Waynesville and Lake Junaluska.

The Chairman’s  Award and  Yonah of the Year Award are each presented in five categories:  community service, leadership, superior guest service, innovation, and superior internal service. 

The Yonah of the Year Award is unique to Harrah’s Cherokee. Created in 2009, the award carries the Cherokee word for “bear,” an animal of great strength, hard work and courage — fitting characteristics for top performing employees.  The Chairman’s  Award is given by Harrah’s at the property, division and corporate levels.

Yonah of the Year Award recipients (left-right) Vickie McMahan, John Forrest, Tammy Smathers, Ryan Hargis, not pictured – Rick Wilhelm. (Photo courtesy of Charles Pringle/Harrah's Cherokee)

Five employees were chosen from 23 quarterly award winners to receive Yonah of the Year honors. Each was given $1,000 and a crystal award.  The 2009 Yonah of the Year recipients are:  Vickie McMahan of Sylva for Community Service, Tammy Smathers of Waynesville for Superior Guest Service, Rick Wilhelm of  Waynesville for Innovation, Ryan Hargis of Sylva for Superior Internal Service and for John Forrest of Sylva for Leadership.  

The Chairman’s Award, the highest honor presented by the Harrah’s Entertainment , Inc., was given to the following employees: Doris Johnson of Cherokee for Community Service, Shelly Deitz of Sylva for Superior Guest Service, Andrew Snyder of Bryson City for Innovation, Greg Galloway of Cullowhee for Superior Internal Service, and Will Cuprak of Lake Junaluska for Leadership.  Each Chairman’s Award winner, selected from among 37 nominees, received $1,000 and a  commemorative gift. In addition, each winner has been nominated for recognition at the Harrah’s divisional level.

“These employees are truly the best of the best at Harrah’s Cherokee,” said General Manager Darold Londo. “They are outstanding employees; role models at work and in their communities; employees who our guests and their co-workers recognize for their hard work, dedication and contributions to our company. We are extremely proud of these employees and the contributions they make each and every day.”

 — Source: Harrah’s Cherokee

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