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The story of the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality and friendship dates back as far as when Christopher Columbus took it back to Europe as a sought after extravagance. Later, in the time of the early American colonies, families would spear a precious pineapple on their iron gatepost as a common symbol to welcome friends and neighbors in to their homes to celebrate the safe return of the ships sailing home from the Caribbean Islands. The pineapple served as an invitation for them to visit, share food, and listen to the captain’s tales of the voyage.

Even today, hotels and service industries proudly display and use the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality. Hospitality is defined as the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers, which could also be used as the definition of outstanding customer service.

And thus, the Washington Chamber of Commerce’s Pineapple Award was created to be used for recognizing outstanding customer service in Washington. The award will allow the public to identify and honor employees who exemplify the quality of friendly attention that goes above and beyond in the realm of customer service. Any employee of a Washington Chamber member business or any business within the 61571 area is eligible to be nominated for the new award.

For more specifics on how to nominate an individual, please contact the Chamber staff at 309-444-9921, info@washingtoncoc.com.