FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT:  Caroline Taylor
Communications Manager
(703) 525-2400
CHAMBER HONORS WORKERS IN ARLINGTON HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Inspiring testimonials displaying integrity and excellence of award winners were shared at ceremony
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Arlington Chamber of Commerce today honored more than 80 front-line workers in Arlington's hospitality industry at the 13th Annual Hospitality Awards at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View HotelThese prestigious awards were given to hospitality workers for delivering outstanding customer service, exhibiting excellence in their profession, and continuously exceeding their job description. 

"Tourism and the hospitality industry are among the most important business sectors in our community, and this year's award recipients are crucial in continuing the success of the industry," said Chamber President & CEO Kate Bates. "The Chamber is proud to honor these hardworking men and women whose dedication to service and continued excellence help make Arlington a great place to live, work, and play."

During the ceremony, Bates read testimonials of how each winner has displayed integrity in his or her work, and how the winners have gone above and beyond their job requirements to provide superior customer service. One winner, Fayssal Samaka of the The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City once checked in a family at the hotel, when he overheard that the father was recovering from cancer.  Samaka arranged for the family to stay in the Presidential Suite and even booked them a tour. A few months later, the family informed the general manager that the father had passed away, and because the last trip they took together as a family was at The Ritz-Carlton, they would come back every year on vacation. This is all because of Samaka's kindness - he establishes a personal connection and creates guests for life. 

Wilber Moreira of the Crystal Gateway Marriott is another example of an employee who goes the extra mile for his colleagues and guests.  A great example of his true professionalism was shown when he heard that the housekeepers did not have a sufficient number of working vacuum cleaners. Without being asked, he took it upon himself to piece the broken vacuum cleaners together to salvage as many as possible, so the housekeepers would have working vacuums to do their job and provide clean fresh rooms for guests. On another occasion, a guest was stranded in the hotel garage after leaving his keys in the car, when Moreira offered his assistance and was able to help the guest get his car unlocked. 

The ceremony also honored 12 individuals with the Bob Klein Legendary Service Award for their 25 or more years of service in the Arlington hospitality industry. This award was renamed several years ago in honor of Bob Klein, the late General Manager of the Holiday Inn National Airport/Crystal City who was instrumental in creating the Hospitality Awards program and ensuring its success for the first five years. This year's winners include: Ofelia Lopez of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Crystal CityDerrick Gaston of the Crystal Gateway MarriottJose De La Cruz of the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National AirportMarina Rodriguez of the Crystal Gateway MarriottAna Quintanilla of the Holiday Inn RosslynMichael Lee of the Renaissance Arlington Capital View HotelMary Fon of the Holiday Inn RosslynTommy Ellis of the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National AirportJoAnn Jansen of the Holiday Inn National Airport/Crystal CityChing Chao of the Holiday Inn RosslynPing Sangthong of the Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport and  Philip Chao  of the Holiday Inn Rosslyn.

A full copy of all of the testimonials shared during the ceremony is available here . Photos from the event can be viewed on the Chamber's Facebook page

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For access to this release and other statements by the Chamber, click here.
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Founded in 1924, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is a member-centric, volunteer-based, non-profit organization of approximately 700 businesses committed to the economic and civic well being of the community. For more information or to become a member, visit the Chamber website.