Hospitality management and development company honored with host of accolades while celebrating its own outstanding hotel leaders across the country.
CHICAGO — After ending 2022 with a 25% increase in its hotel management portfolio, First Hospitality, a national hotel operating and development company, kicks off 2023 by earning the 2023 Top Workplaces USA award, issued by Energage. Winners of the Top Workplaces USA list are chosen based solely on employee feedback gathered through an Energage issued employee engagement survey.
First Hospitality honored associates across its diverse portfolio of over 50 hotels during the 37th Annual First Honors Gala, January 25-26, 2023 in Toledo, OH. During the celebration, First Hospitality recognized 41 hotel properties in nearly 20 categories including “Hotels Ranked #1 on STR,” “Diversity First Team Award,” and “Best in Class – Top Guest Scores.” More than 20 individual associates were awarded in categories ranging from “Executive Engineer of the Year” and “Executive Housekeeper of the Year” to “Home Office Hero Award for Property Support” and “People First Award.”
“When our associates prosper, First Hospitality prospers, which is why recognizing the high-performing talent and success of our teams across the country is reason to celebrate,” said David Duncan, president and CEO of First Hospitality.
“A preponderance of hotel category winners this year are properties run by leaders of diverse backgrounds, including Hotel of the Year and Inner Circle winner, Hyatt Place Ann Arbor. At the same time, the majority of our individual associate recognition awards that are based on hotel performance criteria, alongside nominations, were presented to women. We’re proud to champion a culture of diversity and inclusion,” Duncan continued.
The 14 female leader individual award recipients included:
- Director of Sales of the Year: Rebecca Bennett, Hiltons at McCormick Place
- Operations Leader of the Year: Kierra Moore, Hiltons at McCormick Place
- Revenue Manager of the Year: Michelle Parks, Hiltons at McCormick Place
- Sales Oriented General Manager of the Year: Mercedes Provost, Hyatt Place Ann Arbor
- Executive Housekeeper of the Year: Karen Gonzalez Reyes, Hilton Garden Inn Bloomington
- Diversity & Inclusion First Key Contributor: Mercedes Provost, Hyatt Place Ann Arbor
- Spirit of Service Award: Shekita Metcalf, Guest Manager, Hyatt Place Mishawaka and Valencia Sirchis, Executive Assistant, First Hospitality
- Home Office Hero for Growth and Strategy: Tiffany Sawyer, Corporate Director of Food and Beverage, First Hospitality
- Home Office Hero for Property Support: Sylwia Oak, Training Director, First Hospitality and Torshia Winfrey, Treasury and AP Manager, First Hospitality
- Home Office Hero – Department Leader: Mirela Longoni, Vice President of Revenue Strategies, First Hospitality
- President Award: Mirela Longoni, Vice President of Revenue Strategies, First Hospitality and Jennifer Markham, Project Manager, First Hospitality.
The First Honors Gala also recognized 37 employees with the Live Free Drive Free award. All hourly associates who achieve perfect attendance during the year prior are honored and entered to win a year of housing or car payments. This year’s grand prize winner selected the “Live Free for a Year” option.
While First Hospitality honored the success of its hotels and associates, its portfolio of managed and owned properties also earned several prestigious accolades from the media including:
The Hutton Hotel was named one of The 5 Best Hotels in Nashville, according to Travel + Leisure readers in 2022 and one of the Top 25 Hotels in the South in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2022. U.S. News and World Report honored the hotel as the #2 Best Hotels in Tennessee and on its Best Hotels of Nashville list. The property also earned a 2022 Travelers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor.
The Drake Oak Brook, Autograph Collection in Oak Brook, Il, was named one of The Best Hotels in the World: 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards by Condé Nast Traveler. It also ranked #2 in the top hotels in the Midwest. The World Travel Awards awarded the Drake Oak Brook as Illinois’s Leading Hotel 2022.
World Travel Awards named Hotel LeVeque in Columbus, OH, as Ohio’s Leading Hotel 2022.
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