Golden Pineapple Awards

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association held its annual Golden Pineapple Awards Dinner on Jan. 30, 2019 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. This Academy Awards-style event featured 1,200 attendees and recognized lodging employees with a VIP reception, a congratulatory toast by City of Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer, followed by dinner and award presentations. FOX 35’s Tom Johnson served as the emcee and awards were presented by CFHLA President/CEO Rich Maladecki.

This activity recognizes hospitality’s “Front Line” employees for exemplary service and customer satisfaction. This year, CFHLA received a record number of 316 nominations.

The employees of the year were recognized in 13 categories:

  • Susan Smith
    • Villas of Grand Cypress
    • Back Office Employee of the Year
  • Haleema Degia
    • Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
    • Bell Person/Concierge Employee of the Year
  • Grace Simmons
    • Sheraton Vistana Resort
    • Community Service Employee of the Year
  • Nick Drozdyk
    • Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
    • Convention Center/Banquet Employee of the Year
  • Daire Rodriguez
    • Park Inn by Radisson Orlando Celebration
    • Culinary Employee of the Year
  • Ricardo Rivera
    • Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld
    • Engineering Employee of the Year
  • Evgeny Pavlov
    • DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown
    • Food & Beverage Service Employee of the Year
  • Benjamin Kesselhaut
    • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton located in the Disney Springs Resort Area
    • Front Office Employee of the Year
  • Edward Negron
    • Waldorf Astoria Orlando
    • Housekeeping Employee of the Year
  • Rafaela Sanchez
    • Hampton Inn & Suites / East Orlando UCF Area
    • Laundry Employee of the Year
  • Jorge Reyes-Lopez
    • Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
    • Recreational Employee of the Year
  • Wilmarie Santiago-Cruz
    • JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
    • Security/Loss Prevention Employee of the Year
  • Michel Martial
    • Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
    • Steward/Dishwasher Employee of the Year

CFHLA congratulates all honorees!


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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