CFHLA Golden Pineapple Awards

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association held its annual Golden Pineapple Awards Dinner on January 28, 2016 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. The Academy Awards-style event recognized lodging employees and included a VIP reception with the City of Orlando’s Mayor, Buddy Dyer, followed by dinner and award presentations. FOX 35’s Keith Landry served as the emcee of the evening and CFHLA President/CEO Rich Maladecki presented the awards.

This activity recognizes Hospitality’s “Front Line” employees for exemplary service and customer satisfaction. A total of 257 nominations were received from Central Florida Lodging Establishments, and 10 Family Member Scholarships of $2,000 each were awarded to deserving family members of hospitality employees.

The Employees of the Year were recognized in 13 categories:
• Yvette Gonzalez, Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside, Back Office Employee of the Year
• Carmen Bengston, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, Bell Person/Concierge Employee of the Year
• Jose Burgos, Holiday Inn Resort Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, Community Service Employee of the Year
• Louree Jefferson, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, Convention Center/Banquet Employee of the Year
• Janessa Brown, Crowne Plaza Orlando – Downtown, Culinary Employee of the Year
• Ray Smith, Villas of Grand Cypress, Engineering Employee of the Year
• Briana Daniel, Sheraton Vistana Resort, Food & Beverage Service Employee of the Year
• Corthee Wiggins, Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando North/Altamonte Springs, Front Office Employee of the Year
• Joel Padilla, Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Housekeeping Employee of the Year
• Lebien Basile, Sheraton Vistana Resort, Laundry Employee of the Year
• Frank Ramos, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Recreational Employee of the Year
• John McMahon, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, Security/Loss Prevention Employee of the Year
• Thac Pham, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Steward/Dishwasher Employee of the Year

CFHLA Family Member Scholarship Honorees:
• Cecilia Alvarez, University of Florida
• Apiwit Chulawan, University of Florida
• Patrick Davanzo Jr., Viera High School
• Olivia Faupula, Timber Creek High School
• Junior Jean Louis, Valencia College
• Joanne Mesadieu, Florida A&M University
• Carissa Rampersad, University of Florida
• Santiago Roa, Haines City High School
• Kindia Vertilus, Valencia College
• Elyse Wolin, Cornell University

Photo Caption: The 2015 Golden Pineapple Award Winners (left to right) Janessa Brown of the Crowne Plaza Orlando Downtown, Briana “Luna” Daniel of the Sheraton Vistana Resort, Frank Ramos of the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Yvette Gonzalez of the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside, Carmen Bengston of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, and Jose Burgos of the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando – Lake Buena Vista.


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Written by Rich Maladecki

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