To increase public awareness of extraordinary customer service provided by hospitality employees throughout Lee County, seven workers were recognized by receiving the Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards at the 10th annual ceremony in Fort Myers today.
Visitors from across America, throughout Florida, along with visitors from Ireland, Norway, and Germany, submitted a record 371 nominations, giving high praise to those local employees who provided outstanding customer service. Sponsored by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and The News-Press, the “E” Awards is a collaboration with various local businesses to encourage and support service excellence being provided by Lee County hospitality professionals.
Winner: Mr. Sylvester Jennings, South Seas Island Resort
Honorable Mention: Ms. Janeen Costello, Country Inn & Suites Sanibel Gateway
Mr. Bob Fodor, Beachview Cottages
Mr. Bill McAdams, South Seas Island Resort
Winner: Ms. Maryann Brown, Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Honorable Mention: Mr. Manfred Dangel, Everglades Day Safari
Ms. Wendy Erler-Schnapp, Tarpon Bay Explorers
Mr. Tim Monahan, Tarpon Bay Explorers
Winner: Ms. Karen Barker, Sandalfoot Condominums
Winner: Mr. Marcos DeAraujo, Shiny Objects
Honorable Mention: Ms. Leslie Fellner, Traders Store & Cafe
Ms. Dominique Kuhn, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa
Person of Distinction
Winner: Mr. Ernesto Anaya, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce nominees
Mr. Pete Bukowick
Mr. Charlie Riley
Mr. Barry Solomon
Ms. Lisa Williams
(Chamber Member winners & honorable mentions only)
For summaries on the individual stories of the above mentioned award recipients, log onto http://www.leevcb.com/content/2010-winner-stories .
The Honor of Distinction award, sponsored by Geraci Travel Cruises & Tours, for best overall representative of outstanding service for the year was given to Ernesto Anaya, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa.
In the words of the nominator: “Working on a to-do list, my nominee overheard a call to go to a room for a guest in distress. Though 911 was called, my nominee ran to the room and found the guest in shock. In moments he knew what to do. Without hesitation the nominee quickly ran down the stairs to get Mountain Dew, orange juice and sugar, came back and had the guest placed on the couch where he began to administer the strange cocktail. You see, my nominee is a diabetic and instantly recognized the signs and knew exactly what to do in this situation with our guest!
A short time later the EMS team arrived, began an IV for the guest and thanked my nominee profusely for his efforts. If it weren’t for this nominee’s quick reaction and knowledge of this disease, the guest would have gone into a coma and it could have become life threatening. I also discovered later that my nominee was one of the few employees on staff that was CPR certified. I would like to nominate him for the E Awards as he is well deserving, not just in this incident but in so many others, and would go above and beyond the call of duty whenever needed. Because of his actions, he is a true reflection of what hospitality really is.”
Named for former Lee County VCB Executive Director Elaine McLaughlin, the “E” Awards exemplifies her core belief that providing outstanding customer service is one of the major cornerstones of success for all businesses. Nomination categories included:
Accommodations, Attractions, Restaurants, Transportation, Good Samaritan and Other Services/Businesses. Winners were chosen by a committee of business representatives.
“There are so many who work in the local hospitality industry and are committed to excellence, because they take their duties, responsibilities, and genuine concern for others to the next level of customer service perfection and professionalism,” said Tamara Pigott, VCB executive director. “Whether they are visitors or local residents, the degree of service a business provides its customers is critical to the business’ success or failure. The recognition these people earned is very well deserved.”
Sponsors of this year’s “E” Awards include The News-Press, Geraci Travel Cruises & Tours, Key West Express, The Veranda and Rib City restaurants, Tarpon Bay Explorers, SunStream Hotels & Resorts, Sundial Beach & Golf Resort, Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa, and Babcock Wilderness Adventures.