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A Win/Win For Lodging Executives

Industry Convenes For The Second Annual Elite Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Dennis Nessler
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Many of the industry’s top performers were brought together Monday night at Lakeside at the Wynn in Las Vegas for the official unveiling of Hotel Interactive®’s second annual Lodging Industry’s Elite awards.

In addition to recognizing the industry’s top achievers, the evening included exceptional food, networking opportunities and more than $4,000 in charitable donations were raised for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In total, 15 awards were given out based on the nearly 6,000 votes received by Hotel Interactive®.

“It was a historic evening. Please join me in congratulating all of the nominees and winners for their achievement of being recognized by their peers as the best of the best,” said Rich Viola, president and CEO of Hotel Interactive®.

David Kong of Best Western International was recognized as the Innovator of the Year for 2018. Other nominees included Roger Bloss, Alternative Hospitality; Geoff Ballotti, Wyndham Hotel Group; Masudur Khan, Seaside Lodging; Bill Linehan, Red Lion Hotels Corporation; and MarcAnthony Crimi, Walker Hotel Collection.

Meanwhile, Concord Hospitality received the Owner/Developer of the Year award. Other finalists for the award included Pacifica Hotels; Shaner Hotel Group; Hotel Equities; AD1 Global; and Jamsan Hotel Management.

Chesapeake Hospitality was awarded Third Party Operator of the Year. The other nominees included Charlestowne Hotels; Vesta Hospitality; Prism Hotels & Resorts; broughtonHotels; and Marshall Hotels & Resorts.

DiLeonardo International was designated as Design Company of the Year. Other finalists featured BAMO, Inc.; Tipler Design Group; Pickard Design Studio; Baskervill; and Leo A. Daly.

The winner of the Purchasing Company of the Year was Purchasing Management International. The other finalists for the award included Jaguar Hospitality; Carver & Associates; The Stroud Group; Hospitality Merchandising; and Partners Management Group.

Elisa Whaler of Bray Whaler was given the award for Purchasing Company Executive of the Year. Other nominees included Gus Sarff, GS Associates; Vince Coppola, Hersha Purchasing & Design; Sean Hatch, Hatch Purchasing Corp.; PJ Jones, Project Dynamics; and Albert Solis, Hospitality Plus, Inc.

In the category of Design Executive of the Year, the nod went to Michele Espeland, Cuningham Group Architects. The finalists included Deborah Lloyd Forrest, Forrest Perkins; Lauren Chipman, Chipman Design & Architecture; Lauren Rottet, Rottet Studio; Rebecca Jones, RD Jones; and Andrew Alford, AJ Capitals/Graduate Hotels.

Rick Summa took the award for Brand Purchasing Executive of the Year. Other nominees included Paul McCardal, Hilton; Sebastien Brunel, Accor; Isabelle Larocque, Four Seasons; Ellen Villars, MGM Resorts Design & Development; and Anne Hanch, Hyatt.

The winner in the Owner/Operator Purchasing Executive of the Year category was Laura Herzog, Wynn Design & Development. Also vying for the award were Erin Weiner, Noble House Hotels & Resorts; Marla Davis, Remington; Diana Caballero, Harrahs; Lisa Litke, Commonwealth Hotels; and Sharron Koch, Auro Hotels.

Earning the top spot for Young Executive of the Year was Vicki Poulos, Moxy Hotels by Marriott. Fellow nominees included Michael Fuerstman, Pendry Hotels; Adam Marquis, Pacifica Hotels; Dev Patel, Kamla Hotels; Biran Patel, AAHOA; and Justin Jabara, Meyer Jabara.

Janis Cannon of Choice Hotels received the most votes for Female Executive of the Year. Other nominees include Vera Manoukian, Hilton; Leslie Hale, RLJ Lodging Trust; Stephanie Atkisson, HP Hotels; Allison Handy, Prism Hotels; and Sheena Collins, Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

The new Hotel Opening of the Year award was credited to the Hotel Indigo Tulsa Downtown. Other properties nominated were Even Hotel Miami – Airport; Jupiter Next (Portland); An Artful Hotel, Midtown New York; Springhill suites by Tampa North Land ‘O Lakes (FL); and Fairlane Hotel (Nashville).

The Eliza Jane in New Orleans, managed by HRI Properties, won the award The Most Unique Hotel Conversion. Other projects up for the award included the Embassy Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport; Hotel Indigo Madison (WI); NYLO Hotels; The Greentree Inn & Suites, Pinetree, AZ; and Beaver Creek Lodge in Colorado.

The winner of the Brand Intro of the Year award was Motto by Hilton. Other nominees include Aiden by Best Western; Clarion Pointe by Choice Hotels; Jupiter Hotels; Compass Hotels by Margaritaville Resorts; and Caesars Entertainment.

Finally, Caesars Entertainment Corp. won the award for Excellence in Sustainability. Other finalists were Dream Hotel Group; Benchmark Hospitality; Naples Hotel Group; Hersha Hotels & Resorts; and Aqua-Aston Hospitality, Inc.



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Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
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