Houston, June 13, 2012— At today’s American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Stars of the Industry Awards luncheon, hotel employees were honored for their outstanding accomplishments, service, and leadership in the hospitality and lodging industry. The awards, held at the association’s Summer Summit at the InterContinental Houston near the Galleria, were presented to Outstanding Lodging Employees, Managers, and General Managers in three property size categories, as well as to the winner of the Women in Lodging Connect Leader of the Year Award, the Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year Award, and new this year, the Student Member and Student Chapter of the Year.
Below are the three awards given to the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport a Newport Hospitality Group hotel. The “Guest Relations Property of the Year” and the “Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year” is by division Small, Medium and Large Properties. The HGI Savannah won for medium size properties. “The Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year” is by division on a state level but there is only one winner Nationwide and NHG’s own Tommy Beyer was the recipient of this year’s award.
The winner of the “National Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year”, medium property, is Bob Cantelli, van driver and house person, Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport operated by Newport Hospitality Group. Bob is the definition of a team player. He readily fills in when other employees have been unavailable. He is always prompt with the shuttle, which the airline crews appreciate as well as Hilton guests. He has even converted other hotel guests into loyal Hilton guests by helping them when in need. Bob won the Spirit of Garden Award from Hilton in 2011.
Winning the “National Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader” is Tommy Beyer, CHA, General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport operated by Newport Hospitality Group. Tommy graduated at the top of his class from the University of South Carolina and has been working full time in the industry since his junior year. His hotel performs far above the Hilton brand standards and financially out performs hotels in his market. After managing a Hampton Inn for two years and winning numerous awards, he moved to Hilton and has been GM of the Hilton Garden Inn since 2010. Since then he and his team have increased the hotels ranking from #347 to #72 within the Hilton brand and maintains the #1 position on Trip Advisor month after month. Tommy is not only an excellent businessman, but a budding philanthropist who volunteers for a youth group at a local church. He is described by his staff as a man of stellar character and one that empowers them daily.
Many of AH&LA’s partner state associations choose their own employee award winners, which are submitted to the association for national judging. This year’s national judges are Stephanie Ricca, editor in chief of Hotel & Motel Management magazine; Ed Watkins, editor of Lodging Hospitality magazine; and Glenn Haussman, editor in chief, Hotel Interactive, Inc. Judges for the WIL award are Vail Brown, CMHS, vice president, STR; Nancy Poor, senior vice president, owner relations, Wyndham Hotel Group; and Stefani Raggio, senior regional director of people & culture, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.
The awards ceremony was sponsored by Cintas and HD Supply. For more information on AH&LA’s Stars of the Industry Awards program and a complete list of employee and property winners, please visit www.ahla.com/stars.
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.