Waiter wins top customer service honor

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority honored Michael Baker of Carmine’s NYC at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace as the Customer Service Excellence Person of the Year during an awards ceremony Nov. 13.

Karen Westmoreland, a guest who had Baker as a server, wrote on her nomination of him: “I was in Las Vegas for my birthday and invited a group of eight to join me for dinner. I had been to Carmine’s in New York and loved it so I was hoping to get the same experience. It was even better thanks to Michael Baker. He engaged the entire group, giving a little history of Carmine’s. Michael made the whole dining experience. Had the food not been as delicious as it was, I would return if I knew that Michael would be our waiter. We laughed every time he stopped at our table. The restaurant did not disappoint, but truly, Michael was a highlight for our evening. What an incredible talent and a gem of a human being.”

In addition to Baker, the medical staff at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, Delbert Jones of Clark County and Joely Jones of Liberty Mutual Insurance were finalists for the honor.

More than 5,100 employees who are dedicated to ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction were also recognized.

The Garage Boys performed at the luncheon, which was held at The Orleans, and Shawn Tempesta, host of “Vegas Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV (Channel 13), emceed the event.


Tom+Chee scouting

Employees from the Cincinnati-based fast-casual restaurant Tom+Chee met with potential area franchisees in Las Vegas on Nov. 12.

During the visit, Tom+Chee employees sat down with members of the Las Vegas startup business community at local startup services hub Work In Progress Las Vegas.

Marty Boyer, vice president of Tom+Chee, said Las Vegas is a great location for the company’s next franchise.

“It takes being an entrepreneur to be a success at any business, and there’s not a better place to start our potential relationships with franchisees than Work In Progress, who have welcomed us into their space and facilities,” he said in a statement. “We love the talent, energy and community building that is happening in Downtown Las Vegas and we were able to share our story with entrepreneurs and potential franchisees.”

Specializing in tomato soup and grilled cheese, Tom+Chee is known for its quirky takes on comfort food classics. They offer more than 20 kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches as well as salads and three versions of tomato soup.

Since appearing on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in May 2013, Tom+Chee now boasts 35 stores in 18 states and has 170 stores under contract.

“Since we appeared on ‘Shark Tank,’ we’ve received more than 20,000 inquiries from people interested in operating their own Tom+Chee,” co-founder Corey Ward said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time for our company and it’s proof that hard work and good food can make your dreams come true. We’re excited to explore the opportunities Las Vegas has to offer.”

For more information about becoming a Tom+Chee franchisee, visit


Canseco film debuts

White Horse Youth Ranch is hosting the world premiere of “The Truth Hurts,” a movie that tells the story of Jose Canseco and his experience with Major League Baseball.

The movie, directed by Bill McAdams, explores Canseco’s career and details his use of steroids, his role in bringing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in MLB to the attention of the public and his eventual redemption as a spokesperson and mentor for young people.

“Jose and his story resonated with me and with all of us at the ranch,” Deanna Iniguez, vice president and treasurer of White Horse Youth Ranch, said in a statement. “We are all about the possibilities of positive change and finding a new path. I think ‘The Truth Hurts’ will inspire anyone who watches it and show our supporters that we can all overcome challenges in life. I encourage everyone to see this important movie.”

The White Horse Youth Ranch is a not-for-profit Las Vegas-based organization that aims to educate, inspire and encourage the youth of the community through positive interaction with horses.

The premiere is scheduled for Nov. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m., at White Horse Youth Ranch, 8390 W. Windmill Lane.

Concessions and refreshments will be available, as will several special raffle prizes. Tickets are $10 and seating is limited to 75.

All event proceeds will benefit the White Horse Youth Ranch.

Tickets can be purchased online at:

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