Congratulations to Carol Riddle, a 2020 Seattle Tourism Ambassador!

Just about 20 years ago, Carol Riddle joined Seattle VIP, the original iteration of the company that is now our very own SHW.

Her astounding hospitality career was recognized by Visit Seattle when she was named to the 2020 class of Seattle’s Tourism Ambassadors.

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The honor goes to hospitality professionals who consistently show the highest standards of visitor service and proudly represent the local tourism industry.

The tribute was no surprise to the many, many people who have worked with Carol over the years.

“Carol Riddle is the epitome of hospitality in Seattle,” said Janelle Doig, Senior Manager of Venue Experiences at MoPOP. “She can brighten the dreariest of Seattle's rainiest days with her bright demeanor and warm smile. Carol has an incredible talent of making everyone feel like family! Near and far - clients love working with Carol, as she has their best interests in mind. Be it traveling out of state promoting the city, or in town determining the best place for happy hour to a large out of the box event for 3,000.

Born and raised in Seattle, Carol began her hospitality career as a carhop at Burgermaster. Her pals there christened her “Queen” – a moniker she maintains to this day. She went on to do catering before landing at Seattle VIP.

Larry Granat, whose wife Linda founded Seattle VIP, remembers it took some convincing to get Carol on board. “Carol was negotiating with Linda Granat for her career at Seattle VIP, which in a few years became SHW,” Larry recalled. “Linda pursued

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Carol for over a year because she saw something very special in this young lady who worked for a catering company doing high-end personal events like weddings. Linda proudly exclaimed, “Carol, no more weddings.” They both laughed; Linda lowered her voice, “Well, Carol; maybe one”. They laughed harder both knowing that Linda was talking about our daughter.”

“Carol has dedicated most of her adult life toward the success of tourism and events in Seattle,” said Joanne Orsucci, a manager at the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. “Carol spends all her work time and much of her personal time toward ensuring that her clients have the best possible experience that Seattle offers. Carol genuinely cares about her clients and colleagues and is always there to help them in their efforts.”

The message of Carol’s deep love for her city and unfettered care for her clients was universal in the nominations sent in to Visit Seattle. Lisa Fraser, an event planner for Nintendo, and a former SHW employee, perhaps said it best:

“Carol Riddle IS Seattle’s greatest champion, and long before the Tourism Ambassador Award was established. If given a day, ‘Queen’ will show you a Seattle unlike you imagined, even for those who have lived here all their lives! Her passion for this city is contagious, her love for people is inspiring and her tireless dedication for designing unique and memorable experiences is unmatched and only the prelude to how she makes you feel. For her, selling Seattle is effortless, as it’s her way of life and you will only be her client until you meet, and then forever she will be your friend.”

Marka Waechter, CEO at SHW, took it one step further: “Carol is not only an ambassador for Seattle, Carol is an ambassador for humankind,” Marka said. “She truly is the most authentic, thoughtful, genuine, and kind person on the planet.”

Thank you Carol, for your dedication to this great city. You are a true Queen.

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