Awards - Heart Of America Group

About Our Awards


Over the years we have prided ourselves in presenting award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments that continue to exceed expectations, time and time again. It is to our hard-working teams that each and every one of these awards are dedicated to.

2022

Best in Class Hotel Lodging Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best Place to Hold a Business Meeting Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Bronze Award for Hotel Guest’s Stay, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Bronze Award for Hotel Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – The Axis Hotel, Moline (Top 10% of Hotels Worldwide)
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – The Rewind Hotel, West Des Moines
Gold Award for Best Fine Dining Restaurant, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Hilton’s Brighter Together Award Quarter 2 – The Rewind Hotel, West Des Moines
Hilton’s GM of the Year – Chris Scheel, Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie
Hilton’s Top 5% – Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie
Kayak Travel Awards Best Hotel (United States) – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Silver Award for Best Buffet, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – The Machine Shed, Urbandale
Silver Award for Best Hotel, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Silver Award for Best Staycation, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – The Revel Hotel, Urbandale
Silver Award for Best Steakhouse, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Silver Award for Hotel Guest’s Stay, Wedding Choice Awards – The AC Hotel, Des Moines

2021

Best in Class Hotel Lodging Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best Party Room Award, Omaha Magazine’s Best of Omaha – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Omaha
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – The Axis Hotel, Moline (Top 10% of Hotels Worldwide)
Diamond Circle Award – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Altoona
Family Award Winner, Hotels.com – Wildwood lodge, Clive
Gold Circle Award – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Davenport
Gold Circle Award – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Des Moines
Silver Award for Hotel Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale

2020

Award Winner, Hotels.com – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Best in Class Hotel Lodging Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best in Class to Host a Meeting Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Traveler Review Award, Booking.com – Wildwood Lodge, Clive

2019

Best in Class Hotel Lodging Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best Tiramisu, Italian-American Heritage Festival of Iowa – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, West Des Moines
Gold Award for Best Hotel Wedding Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
IHG Rewards Club Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
Silver Award for Guests Hotel Overnight Stay, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale

2018

Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Best Hospitality Architecture Firm, BUILD Magazine – Heart of America Group Architects
Best in Class Hotel Lodging Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best Iowa Boutique Hotel Design: Hotel Renovo, BUILD Magazine – Heart of America Group Architects
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Embassy Suites, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Gold Award for Best Hotel Wedding Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
IHG GM of the Year – Felicia Gonzales, Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport

2017

Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – The J Bar, Olathe
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Embassy Suites, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Des Moines, Iowa
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Holiday Inn & Suites, East Peoria
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, East Peoria
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, East Peoria
Loved by Guests Award, Hotels.com – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee

2016

Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – The J Bar, Olathe
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Des Moines, Iowa
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Global Award, Shortlist, Luxury Travel Guide – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Guest Review Award, Booking.com – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Pewaukee
IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
IHG Torchbearer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, E. Peoria
Only 4-Star Hotel in Des Moines, Expedia – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Best in Class Award finalist – Hotel Renovo

2015

#1 People’s Choice Rockford Bacon Fest -Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Deal of the Year Award – Embassy Suites, Olathe
IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, E. Peoria, IL
IHG New Development Design Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Best in Class Award – Hotel Renovo
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee

2014

Best Family Restaurant – Machine Shed, Lake Elmo
Business of the Year, Des Moines Chamber of Commerce– The DoubleTree/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, West Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
FSR Magazine’s Best Beverage Program, Honorable Mention – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse
IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Lake Elmo
IHG New Development Design Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Peoria
People’s Choice, Taste of Elegance – The Machine Shed, Wisconsin
Top 12 Reasons ‘Why Iowa Rules’, Washington Post – Iowa Machine Shed

2013

Best Place to Go for Dessert Award, Reader’s Choice – Machine Shed, Lake Elmo
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, West Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
IHG Remodel Award – Holiday Inn Express, Olathe
IHG Torchbearer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, W. Des Moines

2012

Business of the Year Award, East and South Des Moines Chamber of Commerce– The DoubleTree/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Pewaukee
IHG Torchbearer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, W. Des Moines

2011

Best of the Quad Cities, Best Business Lunch – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best of the Quad Cities, Fine Dining, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Cornerstone Humanitarian Award, The National Restaurant Association & American Express – Mike Whalen

2010

Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Suites, Pewaukee (top 9% in the country)

2009

Best American Entrée (Steak de Burgo), Taste of Madison – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best of the Quad Cities, Best Steaks/Steakhouse, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Des Moines Best Breakfast, Cinnamon Roll – The Machine Shed, Urbandale
Restauranteur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association – Mike Whalen

2008

Best Breakfast in America, Travel Channel – Machine Shed
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Wisconsin Beef Backer Award, Wisconsin Beef Council – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Wisconsin Beef Backer Award, Wisconsin Beef Council – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton

2007

Best Family Restaurant, Cityview – Machine Shed, Des Moines
Best Fine Dining Award, Peoria Journal Stars, Readers’ Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse
Best of the Quad Cities, Best Local Chef, River Cities Reader – Machine Shed, Davenport (Bryan Tyler)
Best of the Quad Cities, Fine Dining, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – EconoLodge Inn & Suites, Davenport
Iowa Beef Backer Award – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Iowa Beef Backer Award – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson, Des Moines Airport
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson, Pewaukee

2006

Best of Madison Bronze Award for Best New Restaurant, Madison Magazine – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee

2005

Best Fine Dining Award, Peoria Journal Stars, Readers’ Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, East Peoria
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
T.O.M. Award, National Turkey Federation – The Machine Shed
Top 50 Multi-Concept Growth Companies, Nation’s Restaurant News – Heart of America Group

2004

Best of the Quad Cities, Family Dining – Machine Shed, Davenport
Best of the Quad Cities, Fine Dining Atmosphere, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best of the Quad Cities, Most Hospitable Restaurant, River Cities Reader – Machine Shed, Davenport
Best of the Quad Cities, Place to Buy Unique Gifts, River Cities Reader – Machine Shed, Davenport
Best of the Quad Cities, Sunday Brunch, River Cities Reader – Thunder Bay Grille, Davenport
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee

2003

Best in the Midwest Newcomer Award, Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Peoria
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee

1998

Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Suites, Pewaukee
Restauranteur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association – Mike Whalen

1996

5-Time Recipient of Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Inn, Davenport
Best Pork Restaurant in America from the National Pork Producers – Iowa Machine Shed
Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Suites, Urbandale
Restauranteur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association – Mike Whalen

1994

Golden Egg Award, American Egg Board – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1993

Beef Backer Award, Iowa Beef Industry Council – The Machine Shed, Davenport
Iowa Entrepreneurial Success Award from Governor Terry Branstad – Mike Whalen

1992

Taste of Elegance – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1991

Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine and Ernst & Young – Mike Whalen

1986

Iowa Pork Restaurant of the Year, Iowa Pork Producers – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1985

Golden Butter Knife, Scout County Dairy Association – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1980

Golden Butter Knife, Scout County Dairy Association – The Machine Shed, Davenport

About Heart Of America

Starting with one, 100-seat restaurant in 1978, Heart of America Group has grown to include a portfolio of award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments. Noteworthy brands developed and operated by Heart of America Group include the Machine Shed Restaurant, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille, and The J Bar. We pride ourselves in building long-lasting properties that bring value to the consumer and to the communities in which we build.

Locations

Operations Support Center - Moline
1501 River Drive
Moline, Illinois 61265
P: 309.797.9300
F: 309.797.8700

Operations Support Center - Des Moines
515 E Locust Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309