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Golden Pineapple Awards

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association held its annual Golden Pineapple Awards Dinner on Jan. 29, 2020 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. This Academy Awards-style event featured 1,100 attendees and recognized lodging employees with a VIP reception, opening remarks and a congratulatory toast by Orange County Mayor, Jerry Demings, followed by dinner and award presentations. Spectrum News 13 Allison Walker Torres served as the emcee of the evening, 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 total of 300 nominations.

The employees of the year were recognized in 13 categories:

Angelica Elizaga

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort Disney Springs Resort Area

Back Office Employee of the Year

Richard Esparza

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

Bell Person/Concierge Employee of the Year

Claudia Acosta

Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Community Service Employee of the Year

Lan Pham

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

Convention Center/Banquet Employee of the Year

Karelys Rodriguez Reyes

Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek 

Culinary Employee of the Year

Jonathan Negron

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort

Engineering Employee of the Year

Frigia Mora

Marriott Village Orlando Courtyard

Food & Beverage Service Employee of the Year 

Penda Manley

Loews Hotels

Front Office Employee of the Year

Rodrigue Chery

Marriott’s Cypress Harbour

Housekeeping Employee of the Year

Clemence Francois

Embassy Suites I-Drive 360

Laundry Employee of the Year

Tuba Escabi

Bluegreen Fountains Resort

Recreational Employee of the Year

Kevin Cochren

Hyatt Regency Orlando

Security/Loss Prevention Employee of the Year

Araceli Gutierrez

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes

Steward/Dishwasher Employee of the Year

CFHLA congratulates all honorees!

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Written by Rich Maladecki

Richard Maladecki has served as President / CEO of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) for over 20 years. As President / CEO of the “World’s Largest Regional Lodging Association” he is responsible for managing a 50 member Board of Directors, consisting of lodging General Managers and tourism industry Executives.

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