HSMAI Hospitality Hero: Ava Espano

As part of the 2020 Adrian Awards, HSMAI Hospitality Heroes is honoring hospitality professionals for their efforts to take a leadership position, champion a cause, or create a program that has directly benefited industry workers, medical personnel, first responders, or communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Nominations are open.

HOSPITALITY HERO: Ava Espano, guest services agent, Accor

CONTRIBUTION: When Espano received Accor’s Heartist of the Year employee-recognition honor in 2019, she knew what she wanted to spend the prize money on: a trip to the Philippines, where she was born. When her flight was canceled because of COVID-19, she decided that she still wanted the money to get there.

RESULTS: Espano sent the prize money—several thousand dollars—to her family in the Philippines, who used it to put together care packages for those in need.

NOMINATED BY: Michael Innocentin, Accor’s vice president of ecommerce and digital for North and Central America — “When I heard about the Hospitality Heroes program, Ava immediately came to mind. Her personal act of kindness and generosity during this difficult time helped so many. Not only is she doing a great job at the hotel, she is also a role model to us all with respect to her selflessness.”

The HSMAI Adrian Awards have been honoring excellence in travel marketing for 64 years. Entry information for the 2020 Adrian Awards will be available soon. For more information, visit www.adrianawards.com.