Massachusetts Lodging Association Honors the 2011 Stars of the Industry Award Winners!
The Massachusetts lodging industry came together at the Colonnade Hotel to honor exemplary properties, team members and industry leaders, at the 2011 Stars of the Industry Awards Ceremony.
Please help us in congratulating the Massachusetts Lodging Association 2011 Stars of the Industry Award Recipients
Kimpton Hotels of Boston (Kimpton Care Committee): Among the groups with which this organization maintains strong relationships are Rosie's Place, a center for poor and homeless women, and Cradles to Crayons, an organization dedicated to homeless and low-income children.
>150 Rooms (tie)
Best Western Plus - The Inn at Longwood Medical (Best Western Community Service Program): The Inn at Longwood, by virtue of its location among several major hospitals, has as part of its culture a philosophy of helping those in need. In addition to tending to the comfort and convenience of many of their guests (who are in-house under the most difficult of circumstances), the property and all of its staff raise money to support the hospitals and their many amazing programs.
Hyatt Regency Cambridge (Work with Cambridge Community Services): Through a rigorous nomination process, Hyatt Regency Cambridge awarded Cambridge Community Services (CCS) with a significant $15,000 grant to further the organization's efforts in Education and Personal Advancement within the community. On a weekly basis, Hyatt Cambridge associates make the commute to CCS and offer their time mentoring/tutoring students. These students continue their education and in some cases return to CCS as mentors/tutors and some have even returned to CCS as active members of their leadership team.
Kimpton Hotels of Boston (FAAME Program): FAAME is an acronym for Focus, Action, Accountability, Measurement and Enjoyment. In each property, the Hotel GM and the Restaurant GM leads employees in bi-weekly discussions/open forums to encourage the team to focus not only in areas for improvement but also to accentuate hotel and restaurant successes. The program gives line employees opportunities to submit ideas and provide input, fostering a stronger bond with senior management and every other level of employee throughout the property.
Hotel Commonwealth (Fenway Family Fun Day): As you may know, the Hotel Commonwealth overlooks Fenway Park. Frequently, the hotel holds pre-game barbecues (with the managers cooking the food) for staff and their families. Then, the group heads over to the ballpark to cheer on the home team. These events provide a fun environment for employees after a hard day's work.
The Charles Hotel (Various Employee Relations Initiatives): The Charles offers several programs designed to maintain employee relations including family events, professional development and on-the-spot recognition. Among these activities are Breakfast with Santa events (a great event for employees and their families), complimentary memberships at the Wellbridge Fitness Center, monthly employee anniversary luncheons and many innovative professional development programs.
The Mandarin Oriental, Boston (Guest Relations Team): When a VIP group and their children are staying at the Mandarin, the hotel's Guest Relations team springs into action, transforming an adjacent room into a children's playroom and classroom, including art supplies, computers, tables and even special guests from firemen and the Franklin Park Zoo. The Team also arranges trips to the nearby library and the city's museums.
Four Seasons Hotel Boston (Kid-Kation Program): The Four Seasons welcomes guests of all ages with appropriate gift packages, toys and amenities, including a photo passport, and "adventure map", complimentary access to the Kids Movie Library and even cookie-making classes with Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fonseca. The goal of the program is to create for guests lasting memories for every guest.
The Four Seasons Hotel Boston (Work-Life Balance and Work Environment Teams): The Work-Life Balance and Work Environment teams at Four Seasons Boston are comprised of enthusiastic employees who joined forces in 2011 to come up with new initiatives to ensure the Hotel is always supporting staff unity. Among their activities the Cross-Divisional Day Training Series, which was created to give staff a greater understanding and appreciation for other departments - and individuals' roles - at the Hotel. The goal is to showcase just how important and integral every person and position are for the success of the hotel.
The Colonnade Hotel (Various Good Earthkeeping Practices): During a national contest in 2011, the Colonnade lowered its overall energy usage by 1.81 percent, one of only three in the country to do so (and the most of any New England property). The Colonnade's Green Team meets monthly to discuss new ways to save energy and reduce waste. The hotel is an Energy Star Partner, a certified EPA WasteWise Partner and is an active member of Boston Green Tourism. General Manager David Colella is a member of Mayor Menino's Green Ribbon Commission, advancing Boston's effort for climate action. Last year, the Colonnade was recognized for its green business innovations by the Boston Business Journal.
Special Events - Ongoing
Hotel Commonwealth (Various Literacy Events): Since 2010, the Hotel Commonwealth has partnered with the city of Boston's ReadBoston charity. The hotel has since hosted pajama and storytelling parties, along with other innovative fundraising events at the hotel. The Commonwealth's efforts have raised a great deal of money for this wonderful initiative, and participants in the hotel's many literature-oriented events have gained a wonderful experience while taking part.
The Westin Copley Place (Thanksgiving on the Mayflower): For the last three years, a massive Mayflower moving truck is parked at the Westin Copley Place on Thanksgiving Day. Inside the truck is a wonderful buffet meal prepared by the Westin Copley culinary team (who are on hand wearing Pilgrim costumes) for the benefit of the city's law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel. The event is a demonstration of appreciation to the people charged with maintaining the public safety 24/7.
Special Events - One Time
Ames Hotel (Official Host and Kickoff Party to FNO Boston at Quixote Studios): In the summer of 2011, Boston was named the "worst dressed" city by GQ Magazine. As FNO and Fashion Week kicked off in September of the same year, the pressure was on Boston to counter this perception. The Ames rose to the challenge - the hotel's tavern, Woodward, was actually recreated at Quixote Studios in Allston in order to host a party at which 500 fashionistas attended. The event helped launch the enormously successful Fashion Week.
The Westin Copley Place (A Military Wedding to Remember): In June of 2011, the Westin (after nearly a year of preparations), announced via its broadcasting partner, the Fox 25 Morning Show, that in honor of Massachusetts's members of the Armed Forces (past and present), the hotel would host a wedding for one lucky military couple. The Westin coordinated with a myriad of vendors for donations and also sifted through over 130 essays from candidates. On November 11, Lauren Joyce and her now-husband, Andy (who was returning from a third tour in Afghanistan) were married at the Westin in a wonderful military ceremony.
Technology Innovation of the Year
The Royal Sonesta Boston (Extensive Software Overhauls Conducted by Preston Rowe): As any hotelier will attest, launching just one major piece of operations software is a major (and stressful) undertaking. The Sonesta's Director of IT - Corporate Projects, Preston Rowe, installed and launched seven such systems over the course of just one year, including a new communications system, digital reader boards and a state of the art housekeeping suite known as REX. The initiatives have significantly improved guest relations and delivered across-the-board efficiency to the hotel's operations.
Industry Partner Employee of the Year
Robyn Culbertson (Cambridge Office for Tourism): Robyn is the Executive Director of the non profit, Cambridge Office for Tourism and is a true partner of the MLA, the MLAEF, the GBCVB, Skal International and the hospitality industry. Her efforts on the industry's behalf have paid off: Cambridge has been singled out by ICCA three years in a row as the top US destination for international meetings. She also has been an advocate before the Cambridge city government and Cambridge city council on regulatory issues that impact our industry. Robyn is recognized by her peers for her energy, focus and resourcefulness on behalf of Cambridge hospitality.
Outstanding General Manager of the Year
Bettina Landt (The White Elephant): 2011 was a banner year for the White Elephant, and Bettina's colleagues credit her leadership of this beautiful property as the key to that success. Bettina is rarely at her desk, preferring instead to be engaging her guests, circulating through the restaurant and helping out at the front desk. She implemented one of the most comprehensive and intensive staff training programs in the area, keeping the training process fluid so that she can incorporate guest suggestions and staff input into the program. Bettina has also involved the hotel in local charity work, strengthening the hotel's standing as a community leader.
Edward Friedrich (Ramada Boston): Ed Friedrich has proven himself to be one of the most influential and resilient leaders of the Ramada Boston. Overcoming economic strain, staff shortages, and a very demanding summer Ed has assisted the property in a complete overhaul of management, procedures and strategies. Ed is known as a mentor and good friend to all of his staff members (most of whom refer to him as "Uncle Eddy"). A former Marine, Ed has played a major role in helping renovate a homeless shelter for veterans and in the Marines' Toys for Tots program. Additionally, Ed has proven to be a leader throughout Greater Boston. He has long been an active member of the MLA, contributing whatever support he can offer to MLA and MLAEF events and initiatives.
John Murtha (Omni Parker House): John Murtha is seen as is a champion for both the Parker House and the industry as a whole. Mr. Murtha is a member of every committee at his hotel and truly embraces associates' successes and recognizes when individuals go above and beyond, including participating fully in all associate recognition events. Through John's dedication and leadership the Parker House continues to be among the top Omni hotels regarding lowest turnover and highest overall stability. A former Chair of the MLA Board, John remains an active leader in the MLA, serving as Chair of the Nominating Committee, the Political Action Committee and is a member of several other key Committees. He has become established as one of the industry's most invaluable leaders, both here in greater Boston and throughout Massachusetts.
Lodging Manager of the Year
Ryan Phillips (Boston Harbor Hotel): The Executive Steward of the Boston Harbor Hotel, Ryan went from aspiring police officer to a rising star in the Boston Harbor Hotel. During his tenure, he has demonstrated a "can-do" attitude toward any aspect of hotel operations, serving as an inspiring example for others to follow. He frequently contributes input on how to make the Boston Harbor Hotel experience unique and memorable for guests. Ryan continues to serve on a number of hotel committees in addition to performing his many and difficult tasks as Executive Steward.
Cathie Mesina (Fairmont Copley Plaza): During her 10 year tenure with The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Cathie has held increasingly responsible positions such as Payroll Coordinator, Accounts Payable and Senior Accountant before promotion to her current role of Procurement Manager. Cathie is identified as a valuable resource no matter what area of the hotel in which she is working. She has built strong relationships with colleagues and leaders who trust and respect her commitment and dedication to the work that she does for us. Cathie sets clear standards and holds others accountable, yet remains approachable at all times. Her colleagues describe her as a role model, an innovator and a major figure in the continued success of the hotel.
Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year
Gabriella Monte (Nine Zero): To say that Gabriella Monte has emerged as a hospitality leader undersells the natural instincts and abilities that have made her the keystone of Nine Zero's operations. Gabriella is constantly challenging herself and her team members to be innovative in their approach to customer service. She is constantly thinking outside of the box when it comes to ensuring that guests have an exceptional and memorable experience. Additionally, Gabriella is an active organizer for the hotel's Kimpton Cares committee, which that plans community outreach activities (in all of which she has been an active participant as well). Additionally, she takes part in recruiting events throughout the state, using her experience to inspire others to join the Kimpton brand. Gabriella is seen by her peers as a wonderful, inspiring example that others are happy to emulate.
Sean Howe (The Westin Copley Place): Sean, the Westin's Director of Guest Services, embraces his role as a leader and has earned the respect and loyalty of his associates in leading by example. His team respects him for his honest, straightforward approach of treating each person with respect. Indeed, his associates view him as a mentor, even if he is younger than they are. Sean is known as someone who improves staff morale (even inspiring some retiring associates to remain in order to work with him). Sean is credited with significantly improving the hotel's Trip Advisor ranking through his guest services approaches and innovative ideas. Outside of the hotel, Sean is a member of the Greater Boston Concierge Association and is also a member of the community service committee at the hotel. He is currently involved in the early stages of a project to partner the Westin Copley with Horizons for Homeless Children in Massachusetts to donate toys, living supplies, and time to help keep their several locations across Massachusetts up and running.
Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year
Ganesh Ramcharran (Mandarin Oriental, Boston): Ganesh is known for his passion, zeal for his work, a "can-do" attitude and a willingness to help his teammates. In addition to his duties as Houseman, he is constantly helping out in other departments. A native of Guyana but resident of Boston for 25 years, Ganesh's friendly style in guest relations has endeared him to repeat hotel guests.
Paige Savy (Fairmont Copley Plaza): Paige is known by her peers and supervisors alike as someone who goes above and beyond to ensure that the hotel's Banquet Department is successful in every endeavor. Paige can be counted on to help out her colleagues wherever and whenever she is needed. She is noted for her organizational skills, helping to keep the Banquet department running smoothly and efficiently. Even when staff is down, Paige can be seen filling in for multiple roles. Her work ethic and dedication to the hotel are great assets for the Fairmont Copley Plaza.
Congratulations To All!