HSMAI Hospitality Hero: Kenan Tekin

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: Kenan Tekin, dual opening general manager, Hyatt House/Hyatt Place Los Angeles International Airport

CONTRIBUTION: Throughout the pandemic, Tekin has been checking in on former colleague and employees who have been laid off or furloughed. But he has more to offer than encouragement and support. He’s let them know that he should be able to hire many of them when the dual Hyatt LAX property he manages opens later this year. He’s been using his own money to buy groceries and other essentials for them, including donating an entire paycheck to six families — as well as to fellow HSMAI Hospitality Hero Sheela Martinez’s birthday fundraiser. And Tekin has launched a platform called Emma Talent — named after his 3-year-old daughter — to provide coaching, mentoring, networking, and job-placement services to hospitality employees who have been laid off or furloughed.

RESULTS: In addition to having a material impact on his colleagues’ professional prospects and quality of life, Tekin has buoyed their spirits with the promise of work that keeps them in the hospitality industry.

NOMINATED BY: Mauricio Joya, hotel manager with Interstate Hotels & Resorts — “He keeps it very low key and does not talk about it. He always says, ‘The less people know, the more you can do for them.’”

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.