Hospitality Recovery Hero: Andrew Rigie

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: Andrew Rigie, executive director, New York City Hospitality Alliance

CONTRIBUTION: Rigie has always fought for the hospitality sector of NYC’s economy and the 4,000 members of the Alliance, but at no time more so than during the pandemic. He brought creative and substantive solutions to the table for all five boroughs, whether through policy or legislative changes, or his always thoughtful and professional advocacy, resulting in necessary opportunities for the food and beverage industry during the devastating time.

RESULTS: Rigie’s efforts saved saved countless jobs and small businesses and showed the rest of the country how resilient New York City is during a crisis. From outdoor dining to financial support, his focus and hard work made otherwise impossible things a reality.

NOMINATED BY: Alfred C. Cerullo III — “Andrew Rigie is a vocal public professional and respected advocate and works tirelessly for both his members and the entire food & beverage sector. His passion and creatively moves positive ideas forward.”

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.

HSMAI Hospitality Recovery Hero: Ally Adams

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: Ally Adams, director of event sales for First Hospitality, based in Louisville, Kentucky

CONTRIBUTION: What had been an eight-person area sales team was reduced to Adams and one other person in March 2020. Originally responsible for sales and operations at the Henry Clay Event Center in Louisville, Adams immediately threw herself into selling hotels and catering — for the first time in her career — for all of First Hospitality’s Louisville properties. She and her colleague made more than 200 prospecting calls a week, eventually helping uncover and book a $2.6-million account.

RESULTS: Thanks to Adams’ energy, enthusiasm, and tenacity, First Hospitality was able to able to keep its five Louisville assets open, keep some staff on, and later hire back staff. In 2021, she has already booked more than $400,000 in event revenue. Plus, Adams lifts up her team by always arriving to work with a positive, professional attitude and knows how to lighten the mood just by entering the room.

NOMINATED BY: Dustin Stutzman, area director of sales and marketing for First Hospitality — “I was awarded Director of Sales of the Year for First Hospitality in 2020. The reason I won this award was because of Ally and her efforts with our team. She inspired me to keep working hard, she found business, and she made it happen. Ally is deserving of recognition, and I will do everything I can to share her story, so she knows how appreciated she is.”

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 entry process for the 2021 Adrian Awards competition is now open.

Hospitality Recovery Hero: Danielle Schneider

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: Danielle Schneider, head of business development and partnerships for Pathfinder Development, based in Austin, Texas

CONTRIBUTION: Schneider was the heart and soul of the amazing change that came for Pathfinder during the pandemic and beyond. Her leadership inspired Pathfinder teams across the board to find new and creative ways to provide unbelievable experiences to guests at each of the company’s hotels. She also found ways to reinvest in the company instead of counting every penny and figuring out how to eliminate things altogether, and led the charge in hiring for areas of opportunity such as sales, marketing, and talent development — while taking on a new role of her own in business development.

RESULTS: As the industry has recovered and as Pathfinder and its hotels have outperformed in Texas over the last years, Schneider’s initiatives have offered invaluable opportunities for team members to grow and move toward their career dreams in hospitality. This leadership style builds trust, and that trust has allowed four of Pathfinder’s Texas hotels to consistently perform in the top percentages in RevPAR.

NOMINATED BY: Melissa Miller, CHBA, CHDM, director of marketing and business development for Pathfinder — “She inspired me to nominate her, not because she asked or even knows I am doing this, but because her impact on my life and the lives of our teams goes way beyond collecting a paycheck every two weeks. The culture Danielle has built at Pathfinder ensures that it isn’t just the guests that get treated with Platinum Service, but our internal team members as well. Her inspiring work ethic shows us that there isn’t a limit on the way we treat guests and team members with amazing hospitality.”

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 entry process for the 2021 Adrian Awards competition is now open.

HSMAI Hospitality Recovery Hero: Elena Sacco

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: Elena Sacco, operations manager for Staff Pro Workforce Solutions/LEGOLAND, based in San Diego

CONTRIBUTION: Sacco has worked throughout the pandemic to recruit and train staff and support the reopening of four properties: LEGOLAND Hotel, LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, LEGOLAND New York Hotel, and Embassy Suites By Hilton Temecula. Her efforts have been crucial to ensuring that these hotels’ housekeeping departments can operate — and that the Staff Pro employees working there have the tools, training, and support they need as they clean and disinfect hotel rooms during one of the most challenging times in the history of hospitality.

RESULTS: Thanks to her contributions, not only did the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce recognized Sacco as one of its “Young Leaders in Carlsbad,” Staff Pro also received the prestigious Diamond Award – Platinum Tier from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) for its efforts to transport more than 130 cleaning employees to various hotels in San Diego every day during the pandemic.

NOMINATED BY: Eduardo Moya, area vice president, Staff Pro Workforce Solutions — “Despite the long hours and all the barriers and adversity Elena had to deal with, her positive and can-do attitude along with her leadership skills helped her get her team over one of the most difficult years our industry has ever seen.”

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 opens on Oct. 1. Learn more.

HSMAI Hospitality Recovery Hero: Kathleen Pettit

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: Kathleen Pettit, regional director of business development for HHM (Hersha Hospitality Management), based in New York City

CONTRIBUTION: Pettit spearheaded a first-responder discounted program that HHM offered New York police, fire, and medical professionals, as well as traveling healthcare providers who have come to the city’s aide. She contacted every New York police precinct, fire and ambulance station, and hospital to let them how to best take advantage of these deeply discounted rates should first responders feel the need to isolate from their families for fear of spreading the COVID virus to their loved ones while giving them an alternative accommodation to rest.

RESULTS: Due to Pettit’s vision and persistence, HHM not only was able to offer a safe place to first responders but also helped keep hotels afloat — and provided an important reason to stay open.

NOMINATED BY: Theresa Rayos del Sol, vice president of sales and marketing for HHM — “Kathleen manages to keep a positive outlook, even as she herself was dealing with a lot of personal challenges. She keeps the team motivated and is the first to offer assistance to anyone that seeks her out. She will go out of her way to make sure that she is able to meet and exceed her clients’ and our guests’ expectations. Her passion to succeed, no matter what it takes, is amazing to watch. I am in awe of Kathleen’s love for her industry and keeping a firm and good balance with her family values and priorities.”

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 opens on Oct. 1. Learn more.

 

HSMAI Recognizes Hospitality Heroes Amidst Global Pandemic

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored 15 outstanding hospitality and tourism professionals with the first-ever HSMAI Hospitality Hero Adrian Awards honors. These industry professionals were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of 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.

Meet our hospitality heroes:

  • Sheela Martinez, most recently front office assistant and manager at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills in West Hollywood, California

Sheela put out a call on Facebook to raise money for relief bags for the community of ceramic potters in Santa Maria, Isabela, in the Philippines, where she was born during COVID-19. Within two days, she raised enough money for nearly 500 relief bags.

  • Mary Parks, director of sales for the Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis Downtown

Mary used the Hilton Garden Inn’s kitchen to bake chocolate-chip cookies for medical personnel, firefighters, and other first responders, as well as personally making hundreds of masks for friends, colleagues, and people throughout her community.

  • Jonathan DiFonzo, district sales representative for Cheney Brothers Inc. in Boynton Beach, Florida

Jonathan organized a GoFundMe campaign called “Service Industry Relief Fund” that raised more than $4,700 and secured matching produce donations from Boy’s Fresh Market, all to supply restaurant workers in Delray Beach who had been laid off because of COVID-19, with meals.

  • Jill Flynn, director of sales, events, and marketing for the Hyatt Regency Dulles in Herndon, Virginia

Jill dedicated herself to long workweeks, taken on a variety of tasks, all while being there for her colleagues and covering for them so they can take mental-health breaks during COVD-19.

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

Kenan used his own money to buy groceries and other essentials for laid off or furloughed colleagues. He donated an entire paycheck to six families — as well as to fellow HSMAI Hospitality Hero Sheela Martinez’s birthday fundraiser.

Ava sent her Accor 2019 Heartist of the Year employee-recognition prize money, which was several thousand dollars, to her family in the Philippines. They used it to assemble care packages for those in need during COVID-19.

  • Jean-Cédric Callies, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Monville in Montreal, Quebec, and an HSMAI member

Jean helped supply meals to first responders who work at the University of Montreal Health Center and he launched a variety of initiatives to support both the property and the community during COVID-19.

  • Peter Ricci, CHA, CHSE, CRME, director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and an HSMAI member

Dr. Ricci came up with the idea of offering a condensed version of Florida Atlantic University (FAU)’s Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management at no charge for hospitality professionals who were affected by the pandemic.

  • Nicole McAlister, CHSE, area director of franchise services for Choice Hotels International, working out of Schertz, Texas, and an HSMAI member and Austin chapter board member

Nicole sent personal letters to many hospitality industry professionals with an enclosed packet of flower seeds. Nicole reassured her colleagues that they will get through this and urged them to focus on the beauty that will bloom from the seeds.

  • Brian Stiglets, general manager of The Inn at Longwood Medical in Boston

Brian kept The Inn open, including its restaurant, to continue serving first responders as well as the patients at the beginning of COVID-19. He also arranged to serve more than 200 lunches to local hospitals, delivering the meals himself.

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

Yvette distributed grocery money to hospitality professionals from selling her art and is donating to a breast cancer charity for each facemask she sells as an effort to support her community during COVID-19.

  • Ardy Edgerton, CGTP, senior national account executive for Red Roof

Ardy was instrumental in setting up temporary housing options for more than 75 county, state, and federal emergency management offices by positioning Red Roof properties to provide homes during COVID-19.

  • Geoffrey A. Mills, regional vice president and general manager at Hudson New York for sbe Lifestyle Hospitality

Geoffrey led the Hudson to donate nearly 2,000 room nights as well as masks, sheets, pillowcases, gloves, and disinfectants to Montefiore Hospital, donated PPE, and has offered discounted stays to front line hospital staff in the area.

  • Holly Zoba, CHDM, owner of Scout Simply and Influencer Sales Training, based in Chandler, Arizona, and an HSMAI member

Holly signed on as a volunteer for KickCOVID.us and recruited additional volunteers throughout the industry so travelers can get accurate, up-to-date information that helps them safely patronize hospitality outlets.

Under Matt’s leadership, Wynn Resorts has actively participated in a variety of initiatives that have delivered the money, food, equipment, and supplies to medical personnel and first responders, food banks, schools, and civic organizations.

Each of these heroes will be celebrated as part of the 64th Annual Adrian Awards. This year, the Adrian Awards are focused on the best practices, innovation, and community shown in hospitality campaigns and coronavirus crisis responses. HSMAI has redesigned the Adrian Awards to reflect the current travel landscape and streamlined entry, lowered costs, as well as set a later submission deadline to allow recognition of more great work.

HSMAI is currently accepting Adrian Award entries through December 1st, 2020.

HSMAI Hospitality Hero: Matt Maddox

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. 

HOSPITALITY HERO: Matt Maddox, president and CEO of Wynn Resorts

CONTRIBUTION: Maddox is committed to supporting employees and communities affected by COVID-19 with relief efforts that fill financial and supply-chain gaps. Under his leadership, Wynn Resorts has actively participated in a variety of initiatives that have delivered money, food, equipment, and supplies to medical personnel and first responders, food banks, schools, and civic organizations.

RESULTS: During state-mandated closures in Nevada and Massachusetts, Maddox and Wynn Resorts committed to paying full compensation to all full- and part-time employees through May 31, 2020. Additionally, Maddox led the way to reopening resorts with the creation of a comprehensive Wynn Health & Safety Plan, developed with leading public health and medical professionals, and under his direction, Wynn Las Vegas partnered with University Medical Center to provide no-cost, onsite COVID-19 testing for more than 12,000 employees prior to reopening.

The company also procured and donated more than $4 million in financial aid, personal protective equipment, food and prepared meals, and essential cleaning and hygiene supplies to dozens of health-care facilities and local nonprofit organizations throughout Las Vegas and Boston. Additionally, Wynn Foundation donated $100,000 in funds to domestic violence shelters, and Maddox led Wynn’s participation in the ALL IN Challenge to fight food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19, which raised more than $700,000 for  several nonprofit organizations. Wynn Resorts also offered 10,000 hospital and medical workers, police, and firefighters a complimentary one-night stay at Wynn Las Vegas, and later partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada to offer Wynn employees professionally supervised virtual learning centers for their children during public-school closures.

NOMINATED BY: Pedram Pakneshan, assistant vice president of hotel sales for Wynn Las Vegas, and Monica Moradkhan, vice president of community relations for Wynn Resorts — “Mr. Maddox continuously demonstrates his commitment to our local communities. He avidly participates in a wide range of community initiatives and has been instrumental in the company’s increased philanthropic footprint. Mr. Maddox’s visionary leadership is an inspiration; his dedication to serving underrepresented populations in our communities and ensuring our employees have access to resources is admirable.”

The HSMAI Adrian Awards have been honoring excellence in travel marketing for 64 years. Entry information for the 2020 Adrian Awards will open October 1. For more information, visit www.adrianawards.com.

HSMAI Hospitality Hero: Holly Zoba

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. 

HOSPITALITY HERO: Holly Zoba, CHDM, owner of Scout Simply and Influencer Sales Training, based in Chandler, Arizona, and an HSMAI member

CONTRIBUTION: When a group of entrepreneurs launched KickCOVID.us, a crowdsourced website that provides free public health and safety data about hotels, restaurants, and other public locations across the United States, longtime hospitality evangelist Zoba promptly signed on as a volunteer. Then she recruited additional volunteers throughout the industry, including through her position as director of membership for the HSMAI Arizona Chapter, for which she created a promotional video.

RESULTS: KickCOVID’s tagline is “Spread the word, not the virus!” Thanks to Zoba and other industry volunteers, travelers are getting accurate, up-to-date information that helps them safely patronize hospitality outlets.

NOMINATED BY: Cheryl Street, CHSP, CHME, member of the HSMAI Arizona Chapter Board of Directors — “Holly is a problem solver with a genuine love for this industry. The definition of a doer is ‘a person who acts rather than merely talking or thinking.’ She is going to do everything she can to help this industry recover.”

The HSMAI Adrian Awards have been honoring excellence in travel marketing for 64 years. Entry information for the 2020 Adrian Awards will open October 1. For more information, visit www.adrianawards.com.

HSMAI Hospitality Hero: Geoffrey A. Mills

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: Geoffrey A. Mills, regional vice president and general manager at Hudson New York for sbe Lifestyle Hospitality

CONTRIBUTION: Located on West 58th Street in Manhattan, the Hudson has stayed open throughout the pandemic. Under Mills’ leadership, the Hudson negotiated with city and state emergency-management agencies to serve medical workers and other first responders. Mills also purchased additional personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of the property and created protocols for safely housing first responders. And the Hudson’s sales team leveraged their connections to help find rooms for COVID-positive children in Brooklyn.

RESULTS: Mills has led the Hudson to donate nearly 2,000 thousand room nights as well as masks, sheets, pillowcases, gloves, and disinfectants to Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, which has been on the front lines of COVID-19; donate PPE to Mount Sinai in New York City and Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey; and offer discounted stays to the staffs of staffs of Mount Sinai, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

NOMINATED BY: Darren Skomorowsky, director of sales and revenue management for Hudson New York — “It has now been five months since the world changed. I am sure we can all mark the first week of March as one of the scariest times, not just in our industry but for New York as a community. We here at the Hudson were fortunate — more fortunate than most — in that our leadership retained its tenacity, its grit, and determination. Geoffrey’s personality and leadership style pushed the team to find a way in the face of what was surely the greatest challenge we may ever face in our professional lives.”

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.

HSMAI Hospitality Hero: Ardy Edgerton

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: Ardy Edgerton, CGTP, Senior National Account Executive for Red Roof

CONTRIBUTION: As one of Red Roof’s government travel specialists, Edgerton has strong connections with government agencies across the country which allowed her to quickly and efficiently support emergency management offices working to house vulnerable homeless communities during the pandemic.

RESULTS: Edgerton was instrumental in coordinating hotel leases to provide temporary housing options for more than 75 county, state, and federal emergency management offices, positioning Red Roof properties to provide homes for people who otherwise would be on the streets or in other high-risk environments.

NOMINATED BY: Marina MacDonald, chief marketing officer for Red Roof— “Ardy’s dedication and deep knowledge of processes and systems positioned Red Roof to effectively pivot in this new space for the brand. Her compassion for those most at-risk during this pandemic inspired operations and properties to quickly mobilize in this changing business environment.”

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.