Business

Two Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Employees Receive Na Poe Paahana Awards

January 15, 2016, 10:18 AM HST
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(L-R) Mufi Hannemann (HLTA President & CEO), Heidi Michel-Bunyard (second place winner - Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year), Emily Arcangel (first place winner - Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year), Celena Burkhart (third place winner - Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year), and Ben Rafter (HLTA Chairperson). HTLA courtesy photo.

(L-R) Mufi Hannemann (HLTA President & CEO), Heidi Michel-Bunyard (second place winner – Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year), Emily Arcangel (first place winner – Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year), Celena Burkhart (third place winner – Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year), and Ben Rafter (HLTA Chairperson). HTLA courtesy photo.

Two Big Island hospitality professionals were the recipients of awards at the 26th Annual Na Poe Paahana Award ceremony, held Thursday.

The award ceremony sponsored by the Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association brought together nearly a thousand employees, family members, and industry representatives from across Hawai’i to celebrate honors in twelve categories.

Wesley Yamamoto of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was presented with the second place award for Bell/Valet Person of the Year, while Jacob Cordeiro, also of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, was presented the third place award for Food & Beverage Person of the Year.

“The Na Poe Paahana Awards give us the opportunity to recognize and thank the individuals and organizations that contribute to the success of the hospitality industry,” said Mufi Hannemann, president and Chief Executive Officer of the HLTA. “We just marked our fourth consecutive year of record-breaking visitor arrivals and spending, an achievement attributable to the exceptional service provided by the men and women we honor today. Their aloha spirit and professionalism are what make us what we are—one of the greatest destinations in the world, year after year.”

Emily Arcangel, Regency Club concierge at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, received the top honor as the Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year.

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Award winners were nominated by their supervisors and co-workers. Nominees are judged based on their outstanding and exceptional service to lodging guests, co-workers, and the community.

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The 26th annual awards included three new awards in the area of sustainability, education, and legacy.

“This year, we introduced three awards to reflect the broad and diverse influence of the hospitality industry,” said H Hannemann. “Yes, our employees are the heart and soul of tourism, but there are so many others who contribute in different, but no less significant ways, and these are the people and organizations we wanted to celebrate through these honors.

26th Annual Na Poe Paahana Award recipients:

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Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year
1st Place – Emily Arcangel, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
2nd Place – Heidi Michel-Bunyard, The Westin Maui Resort
3rd Place – Celena Burkhart, Trump International Hotel

Manager of the Year
1st Place – Crystal Lei Lane, The Westin Maui Resort and Spa
2nd Place – Deborah Crippen, Lawai Beach Resort
3rd Place – Susan Smith, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Housekeeper of the Year
1st Place – Kin Tam, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa
2nd Place – Michelle Camit, Turtle Bay Resort
3rd Place – Janet Li, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club

Food & Beverage Person of the Year
1st Place – Laurence San Juan, Halekulani
2nd Place – Norman Nakasone, Sheraton Waikiki
3rd Place – Jacob Cordeiro, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Engineering/Maintenance Person of the Year
1st Place – Douglas McCracken, Sheraton Waikiki
2nd Place – Stacey Agcaoili, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa
3rd Place – Ryan Banaag, Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa

Front Office Person of the Year
1st Place – Pamela Keppler, The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort
2nd Place – Shermaine Salazar-Hunter, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
3rd Place – Skye Litsey, Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber

Bell/Valet Person of the Year
1st Place – Lowell Sandborn, Sheraton Waikiki
2nd Place – Wesley Yamamoto, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
3rd Place – Troy Hiura, Outrigger Waikiki

Security Officer of the Year
1st Place – John Pirtle, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
2nd Place – Jason Kahoaka, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
3rd Place – Jayson Rondal, Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Allied Member of the Year
Alamo Rent a Car, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and National Car Rental were named the Allied Members of the Year. The companies were recognized as valuable members of the HLTA for their support of Hawai’i’s visitor industry and the community.

New Awards for 2016
Leader in Sustainability Award – Turtle Bay Resort
Hospitality Educator of the Year – Todd Nakayama, Waipahu High School
Na Poe Paahana Legacy Award – Don Ho

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