In honor of National Travel & Tourism Week we are celebrating the Faces of Travel in Oakland. Here are 5 members of our industry who have been nominated for their dedication to making Oakland a great place to visit. 


Alma Avalos | Cheesemonger | Market Hall Foods

“Alma is one of those people who just makes a place special. Not only does Alma loves her job traveling the world buying amazing cheese, but just talk to her and you can see how much she loves to share that passion with her customers and guests at Rockridge Market Hall. Alma takes the time to make sure that every person who stops by the Cheese Counter leaves with a great taste and knowledge of the product they are buying. She is sweet, lovely and a person that truly makes the Cheese Counter at Market Hall a special place for everyone in Rockridge and Oakland. Plus, you also leave wanting to give her a hug!”- Lauren McCabe Herpich

Jean Alvis | Concierge | Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel

“Jeanne Alvis, as a Concierge at the Claremont Club & Spa A Fairmont Hotel, has truly made "moments into a memory for our guests" a mission. I'm sure many has noticed Jeanne’s face, because of the service she brings and always using local vendors, restaurants, or keeping the experience for guests locally authentic. She is truly becoming a representative and ambassador of the East Bay. A true example of what is expected as far as Service Excellence, but more importantly building that relationship that brings a community together becoming the face we all recognize. When guests come to travel, Jeanne Alvis is highly sought after as a face of travel for Oakland. Some Travel Social Media examples- TripAdvisor : "Stayed at the Claremont and loved the iconic and elegant feel of this hotel. The service at every point was amazing. From checking in, to tea at the lobby lounge, we were met with happy employees. And a special commendation for the concierge, Jeanne, who patiently helped us plan restaurants for a future stay. She was kind and professional and we truly appreciated all the time she spent with us. She was awesome, and made us feel cared for, like a friend was giving advice!" Way to go, Jeanne! This level of service truly sets Claremont apart and makes our guests "feel welcome!" …Like a friend giving advice, might I add a friendly face that represents Oakland well! Thank you for considering Jeanne Alvis, Concierge at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel.”


Sharon Waters | Tasting Room Associate | Rosenblum Cellars

“Always gives great customer service. Has the most yelp reviews of our staff. She is the most memorable and friendly, and is a true customer favorite.”- Shannon Holbrook

Sarah Tiffany Richardson | Site Manager | Oakstop

“We are nominating Sarah Tiffany Richardson as our Travel & Tourism All Star because she is the face of Oakstop, greeting over 2,500 people every month who come from around the Bay Area and across the globe for coworking, meetings, events, workshops, and art exhibits. Sarah started with Oakstop as a coworking member, running the Oakland United Democratic Campaign, before deciding to join the team as Oakstop's first full time staff member. For over two years, she has consistently gone above and beyond to enhance the experience for our visitors, regardless of whether they're booking space for large conferences or just stopping by from out of town to view our art exhibits. As the Site Manager, Sarah is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day activities at Oakstop; providing a hospitable environment for our coworking members, booking meeting and event space reservations, and ensuring that Oakstop remains a welcoming and safe place for anyone in Oakland. Through her work with Oakstop, Sarah has served as an authentic ambassador for Oakland, as many of our visitors and members are new to Oakland and rely on her for recommendations on where to search for housing, jobs, nightlife, good eats, and even voter registration! This recognition is incredibly fitting for Sarah Tiffany Richardson and we are proud to nominate her as a leader of the Oakstop team.” – Trevor Parham


Kenneth Brown | Visitor Center Associate | Visit Oakland 

“Kenneth, lovingly called KB, greets everyone walking through the Visitor Center with a smile. Whether it’s a Visit Oakland partner dropping by to say hi or a traveler from halfway across the world, he treats them with the same enthusiasm and pep as a lifelong friend. His famous greeting “How’s your day going?” delivered with his natural charm and charisma easily welcomes anybody of any age. Although young at heart, KB overflows with hospitality knowledge and customer service experience. He will personally take the time to attend and learn about different events and attractions around the city so he can recommend them with his stamp of approval. And in the rare instance a visitor comes back with a less than stellar experience, Kenneth personally follows up with the business to help improve on the next visit. Within the office, KB is a team player and easily the most popular guy at Visit Oakland!” - Frances Wong