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: Yvette Koebke, director of sales and marketing for Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Phoenix Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona

CONTRIBUTION: Faced with the prospect of laying off her entire sales team because of COVID-19, Koebke instead stepped down and gave her hours to her two sales managers. An artist and designer, Koebke then began selling prints of her artwork to raise money for colleagues who had been laid off, and created two facemasks to raise money for breast-cancer research in honor of a friend who has undergone a double mastectomy. She is also designing children’s facemasks with the goal of having people pay to donate them to a children’s hospital.

RESULTS: Koebke has distributed $1,000 in grocery money to 15 hospitality professionals from selling her prints, is donating $3 to a breast-cancer charity for each facemask she sells, and is matching each children’s facemask that someone donates with a second donated facemask.

NOMINATED BY: Joanne Winter, executive director of the HSMAI Arizona Chapter — “Yvette is a fabulous leader and it is quite obvious that she has the love and respect of all of her coworkers. To quote one of her salespeople: ‘Yvette has brought so much light and wisdom into my life. She strives to help people become the best versions of themselves. Her creativity matched with her generosity is something to be inspired by.’”

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.