Golden Pineapple Awards

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association held its annual Golden Pineapple Awards dinner on January 29, 2015at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. This Academy Awards-style event recognized lodging employees with a VIP reception, a congratulatory toast by 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 awards were presented by CFHLA President / CEO Rich Maladecki.

This activity recognizes hospitality’s “front line” employees for exemplary service and customer satisfaction. A record-breaking 267 nominations were received from Central Florida lodging establishments. In addition, ten family member scholarships of $2,000 each were awarded to deserving students of hospitality employees.

The employees of the year were recognized in thirteen categories:

Jessica Galloway
Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate
Back Office Employee of the Year

Gary Boyer
Orlando World Center Marriott
Bell Person/Concierge Employee of the Year

Kris Michalson
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Community Service Employee of the Year

Joshua Figueroa
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort
Convention Center/Banquet Employee of the Year

Nelson Quiles
DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
Culinary Employee of the Year

Henry Duck
Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort
Engineering Employee of the Year

Grisellys Morales Vazquez
Melia Orlando Suite Hotel
Food & Beverage Service Employee of the Year

Joshua Kirkland
Hilton Orlando
Front Office Employee of the Year

Judy King
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Housekeeping Employee of the Year

Halima Ali-Obaidi
Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando
Laundry Employee of the Year

Jessica Askew
CLC Encantada Resort
Recreational Employee of the Year

Youssef Mouaddine
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort
Security/Loss Prevention Employee of the Year

Edgar Gonzalez
Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin
Steward/Dishwasher Employee of the Year

CFHLA Family Member Scholarship Honorees:

Cecilia Alvarez
University of Florida

Alexa Regina Avecilla
University of Florida

Piero Castillo
Cypress Creek High School

Apiwit “Ben” Chulawan
Olympia High School

Vernon Corbin, III
Florida State University

Orianna Jimenez
Valencia College

Violeta Mileva
Florida State University

Sol Ortega
University of Florida

Sanim Rahman
Dr. Phillips High School

Carissa Rampersad
University of Central Florida


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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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