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Foley’s Tricia Lopez Wins Herb Malone Hospitality Award Press Release

Foley’s Tricia Lopez Wins Herb Malone Hospitality Award

                The Coastal Alabama Community College bestowed the Herb Malone Hospitality Award on the City of Foley’s Hospitality Services Manager Tricia Lopez on April 23. Lopez has been working toward an associate’s degree in hospitality while also balancing her full time job with the City.

                Lopez joined the City of Foley in 2013 as a Concessions Manager with the Parks and Recreation Department, a role that grew to include duties with the Sports Tourism Department at the Foley Event Center when it opened in 2017. In 2023, Lopez moved into her current role as Hospitality Services Manager with the Leisure Services Department. She is in charge of the catering and welcoming of all Foley Sports Tourism events as well as assisting with the needs of other departments with Leisure Services including the Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market, Parks and Recreation, and Nature Parks.

                In 2023 Lopez enrolled at CACC to further her knowledge of the industry and pair it with her extensive on-the-job experience in order to provide visitors with the best possible experience in Foley. On April 23 she received the Herb Malone Hospitality Award in a ceremony at CACC. According to Elizabeth Boehm, CACC Hospitality/Event Planning Instructor, the award is presented to a student who embodies the same attitude as its namesake.

                “We chose to name the award after him as he was pivotal in shaping tourism for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. He was the director of the Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Tourism,” Boehm explained. “The student who receives this award does so for going above and beyond in their courses, not only with grades but with their enthusiasm to learn. They also are active within the program, volunteering and helping to create the events around campus. Lastly they are always willing to help and motivate others around them. As a department we know that a student who does this will be successful in this industry.”

                Enthusiasm is something that Lopez also brings to work each day, said City of Foley Executive Director of Leisure Services, David Thompson.

                “I can’t fully explain how thankful we are to have Trish on our team,” Thompson said. “Hospitality is all about making people feel welcome. Trish has the ability to make people feel at home with her whether they’re visiting Foley for the first time or they’re coming in to work alongside her every day. It’s not easy to balance the workload Trish has taken on, but to do so with a positive attitude and unfailing patience is inspiring to all of us.”

                As if a full slate of work and school isn’t enough, Lopez also finds time to be a full time wife and mother. But she said it’s those duties that drive her to do more.

                “I am honored to receive the Herb Malone Hospitality Award,” Lopez said. “But I could never have dreamed of going back to school without the continued blessings God has given me. He has showered me with opportunities and people who believe in me even when I doubt myself. I have received incredible support from my family and friends. Coastal Alabama Community College has instructors who inspired me every step of the way. My coworkers and leadership at the City of Foley have always helped me find ways to do it all. I continue to be grateful for all the gifts in my life because they help me succeed. After all, what is hospitality really but the sharing of blessings with others.”

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