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Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The Associationís Annual Hotel Day was held on Wednesday, October 19, 2017 at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport, consisting of a Job Fair, Allied Members Reception & Trade Show, and culminating with the Presidentís Lunch.

The Job Fair started at 9.00 a.m. with hotels such as DoubleTree Hotel, Hilton Palm Beach Airport, Hilton West Palm Beach, Hawthorn Suites, Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn, Hyatt Place in Delray Beach & Boca Raton, and Renaissance Boca Raton setting up their booths to welcome jobseekers that came during the morning to enquire after careers and opportunities in Palm Beach Countyís hospitality industry.

At 11.30 am. the Associationís Allied Members displayed their products and services at the Reception and Trade Show, while members mingled prior to the Presidentís Lunch.

President George Isaac welcomed those people attending the Presidentsí Lunch and then focused on the Associationís Hotel Day Ė the awarding of the Associationís 2017 scholarships and awards.

Association Scholarships (funded by the Annual Golf Tournament in May) were presented to students attending hospitality courses at Palm Beach County educational institutions:

At Florida Atlantic University, Mikhail Guseynov and Mariah Kennedy (both for the second year); Axa Contreras & Jeremy Riley at Palm Beach State College; each received a check for $500.

In addition, checks for $600 were presented to support the Tourism, Hospitality & Resort Magnet Program at Palm Beach Gardens High School and the Academies of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Forest Hill and Olympic Heights High Schools.

In cooperation with the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, John Clifford Memorial Scholarships (in honor of John Clifford, General Manager of The Breakers from 1970 to 1981) a check for $2,000 each was presented to Leah Rondelli, attending Florida Atlantic University .

The Associationís Hotel of the Year Award went to the Embassy Suites Hotel, Palm Beach Gardens and Tom Spoto, General Manager.

The Associationís Allied Member of the Year Award was presented to Viking Cleaners and Owner Randy Steele for their support of the many activities and aims of the Association.

Secretary of the Association, David Semadeni then invited the fifteen nominees for the 2017 Employee of the Year Awards (the thirteenth year of these awards) to come to the podium and introduced each of them with a short resume of their achievements. All had been nominated by their hotels as either the Guest Service Employee of the Year (for front of house associates) or the Support Services Employee of the Year (for back of house associates) and were joined by their colleagues from their respective hotels and resorts at the lunch. All the nominees were presented with certificates from the Association recognizing their contributions to the Palm Beach County Lodging Industry.

Guest Services Employee of the Year:
Benjamin Knight, Bellman/Front Desk, Hilton PBIA
Michael Wright, Front Desk Supervisor,Hilton Garden Inn, Palm Beach Gardens
Mark DeAvelar. Bell Captain,Hilton Singer Island
Richard Anderson. Guest Service Rep., Marriottís Ocean Pointe
Stan Asbury, Bellman,Hawthorn Suites
Harry Grant, Bellman, Best Western Palm Beach LakesInn

Support Services Employee of the Year:
David Wright, Engineering Supervisor,Hilton PBIA
Marie Cirosil, Steward, Hilton West Palm Beach
Josie Pierre, Lobby Attendant, Hilton Suites Boca Raton
Erik Rivers, Pool Attendant,Marriottís Ocean Pointe
Wisler Champagne, Embassy Suites, PB Gardens
Florentino Ortiz, Chief Engineer, Hawthorn Suites
Patricia Hernandes, Inspectress, Best Western Palm Beach Lakes inn
Gladys Clerveau, Housekeeper, Hilton Singer Island

With much fanfare, President Isaac identified Michael Wright, Front Desk Supervisor, Hilton Garden Inn, Palm Beach Gardens as Guest Service Employee of the Year and Josie Pierre, Lobby Attendant at the Hilton Suites Boca Raton as Support Services Employee of the Year. Each received a check for $1,000.00 and a plaque recognizing their achievements.

President Isaac closed the lunch with congratulations to all the recipients and thanked the Hilton Palm Beach Airport, its General Manager, Matt Kaniff and his staff for hosting the most successful Hotel Day.

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