Readers' Choice Awards

Best Waitresses: Shauna McDuffy, Marcela Boichuk, Gina Rohrer

Gina Rohrer began serving food when she was 13 years old. Later, she got a job as a cocktail waitress then as a bartender.

Now, 24 years later, she does all three at Mo & Sluggo's Bar and Grill in Carson City.

"I get to meet different people and make new friends," she said. "I truly care about my customers and I love what I do."

She is married to her husband, Randy, and has a daughter Rachel, 10.

Marcela Boichuk thinks of herself as a teacher rather than a waitress but is serving cocktails at the Margarita Saloon in the Pi-on Plaza while going to school.

Boichuk was a teacher in her native Russia but has to become certified in the United States and is attending Western Nevada Community College.

"I love kids and I love to teach," she said.

She moved to Carson City 11 years ago with her husband Michael Powers. The two met in Argentina while he was in the military.

Shauna McDuffy, a 1989 Douglas High School graduate, has been a cocktail waitress at the Pi-on Plaza for six years and is now the cocktail supervisor.

"It's a good place to work," she said. "You meet a lot of different people."

In general, she said, the good outweighs the bad.

"Sometimes people get pissy when their losing money gambling," McDuffy said. "But mostly it's fun because you get to talk to people -- it's definitely not a boring job."

Best Bartender: Kristin Winnicki

Kristin Winnicki made up her mind early on to be a bartender.

"I knew it was good money," she said. "I knew it would help put me through school and I could support my family on top of it. It was a new challenge."

She began tending bar in Georgia four years ago and, since moving to Carson City three years ago with her husband Joe and son Kade, 7, she has been a bartender at the Margarita Saloon in the Pi-on Plaza.

"You meet a variety of people," she said. "You know you're always going to meet somebody interesting."

Winnicki is going to school at Western Nevada Community College to become an elementary school teacher. She estimates she has about three years left but may continue to tend bar during the summers once she starts teaching.

"I've developed a personal relationship will all my customers," she said. "They're like friends to me."

Best Veterinarian: Danny Larson

Danny Larson graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1972 with a degree in business management. He worked in the casino industry for six years but after visiting his brother-in-law's veterinary practice in Canada, he knew he wanted to change his career.

He went back to school and graduated in 1985 with a degree in veterinary medicine and has been at the Carson Silver Sage Veterinary Clinic for almost 14 years.

"I don't see it as a job," he said. "I come in every day looking forward to what I'm going to be doing.

"I much prefer working with animals than people. It's more of a challenge because they can't tell you what's wrong with them."

Larson shares the credit of his success with his staff Deborah Bess, Tia Shope and Erin Perry and with the animals.

"They don't ask for anything in return," he said. "They wear their feelings on their sleeves and love unconditionally."

Larson and his wife, Deborah, have two grown children and five grandchildren.


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