HSMAI Recovery Hero: Joe Kollar

As part of the 2021 Adrian Awards program, HSMAI Hospitality Recovery Heroes is honoring hospitality professionals working toward recovery at the local and front-line levels, supporting hotels, destinations, safety measures, and charitable programs that have helped make a difference for their companies and in their communities. Nominations are open.

HOSPITALITY RECOVERY HERO: Joe Kollar, General Manager, Mayo Civic Center

CONTRIBUTION:  In January of 2020, Joe Kollar was promoted to director of operations with an infant child at home. Despite the uncertainties, he decided to stick with the industry he loved. Two months later the COVID-19 pandemic struck.  After the initial shock and yet more changes, he was promoted to general manager of the Mayo Civic Center in July of 2020.
Within weeks, Kollar helped further the legacy of a convention center that was originally donated by the Mayo family for the sole purpose of benefitting the community. His first fete was to work with the local leaders to utilize the space as a homeless shelter, giving the city’s most vulnerable population a place to socially distance and have a warm meal in a safe environment.
In the fall of 2020, Kollar jumped on the next opportunity to help the city’s youth have a place to learn safely while their parents returned to work. Rochester is a medical community and without having a place to safely send their children, many healthcare workers may not have been able to help answer the call.
After successfully partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, in February of 2021, Kollar turned his attention to vaccination. Due to his leadership, the convention center was able to become a mass vaccination site and administered thousands of doses.

RESULTS: Throughout 2020 and 2021, Kollar’s leadership helped turn the convention center into a shared community asset. Kollar’s selfless acts, countless hours, and personal sacrifices should have been enough, but he wasn’t finished there. His efforts helped make possible: a shelter for the needy, a safe haven for children to learn, 15,000 vaccinations, 14,000 hot meals served, and businesses recovery. He took it upon himself to help the downtown community bounce back and safely welcome back conventions and live entertainment to the facility.

“Joe Kollar’s unwavering commitment to the Mayo Civic Center and the Rochester community cannot be understated. I’m extremely proud of how he and our entire team rose to the many challenges faced during the pandemic and as we look toward the future,” said Joe Ward, president of Experience Rochester and Mayo Civic Center.

NOMINATED BY: Nick Landry, Vice President of Sales, Mayo Civic Center
“Joe’s selfless actions deserve to be recognized. It seemed as if every time you turned around, he was involved in a new initiative to benefit the community. He’s an inspiration and makes those around him not only better professionals, but better people.
Years from now, when his son hears stories about being born in the pandemic, I want him to look at this recognition and know exactly how his father made a difference.”

The HSMAI Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing excellence. This year’s competition will focus on capturing the great work done by hotels, destinations, and their agency partners to get the country moving again, showcase safety and security, and welcome those traveling for the first time in more than a year. The 2021 Adrian Awards competition is now open. Learn more.

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