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Zoar Outdoor Raft Guide Receives Prestigious State Award

by Blair Winans

February 7th, 2008

Long-time Deerfield River Raft Guide, Howard Bronstein, was recently nominated for the Governor’s Hospitality Award for his record of excellent customer service as an employee of Zoar Outdoor. Bronstein, a resident of Plainfield, has worked for Zoar Outdoor as a raft guide and trip leader for the past 10 years. Each year the State of Massachusetts honors individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Massachusetts tourism industry. This award honors a “front-line” or “behind the scenes” volunteer, or paid staff person who has exemplified the true “spirit” of Massachusetts hospitality by providing outstanding service to visitors and the tourism industry over a significant period of time. This year the Mohawk Trail Association has chosen to nominate Bronstein. 

According to Zoar Outdoor Rafting Manager, Kevin McMillan, “Howard has always known that a guest’s experience is much more a function of their interactions with their guide and with other guests than it is a function of the weather or other circumstances of the day.  On mornings when the weather is less than ideal, Howard takes a leading role in conveying the importance of a positive attitude to other staff so they’ll convey the same attitude to their guests.”    

“We make a point of hiring our guides from a wide range of ages, because we have found that guides who are in their forties and fifties lend a level of maturity to the entire staff that often proves valuable.  Howard is one of these anchors and we count on his sense of perspective to help keep the staff on an even keel”, states Bruce Lessels, President and owner of Zoar Outdoor. Bronstein will be honored at an awards breakfast on February 29, at the 21st Annual Massachusetts Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism in Boston at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.Governor Deval Patrick will present the awards to this year’s recipients.   

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