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And The Winner Is…

Industry Convenes For Unveiling Of The Lodging Industry Elite Awards

Wednesday, May 02, 2018
Dennis Nessler
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Many of the industry’s top performers were brought together Monday night at MB Steak in Las Vegas for the official unveiling of Hotel Interactive®’s inaugural Lodging Industry Elite awards.

In addition to doling out the awards, the evening included exceptional food, networking opportunities and some $3,500 in charitable donations were given to Three Square, a Las Vegas-based food bank. In total, 14 awards were given out based on the over 4,100 votes received by Hotel Interactive®.

“The response we received from our readers was overwhelming,” said Rich Viola, President and CEO of Hotel Interactive®. “This event represents just the beginning for the Lodging Industry Elite awards as we look forward to many years of recognizing the industry’s finest with a truly first-class event.”

Alexandra Jaritz, Global Head, Tru by Hilton, was recognized as the ”Innovator of the Year” for 2017 for the introduction of the Tru midscale brand. Prior to joining Hilton in 2015, Jaritz held key executive positions with Choice Hotels International as well as Ernst & Young, LLP and Lehman Brothers Inc.

Other nominees included Roger Bloss, EVP, President of Global Development, Red Lion Hotels Corporation; Jennifer Gribble, VP, Avid Hotels, by IHG; and Ayelet Weinstein, President & CEO, B Hotels & Resorts.

Kathleen Dauber, Partner, HBA, received the “Design Executive of the Year.” Dauber joined Hirsch Bedner Associates in 1984. Other nominees included Andy Cohen, co-CEO, Gensler; Mary Alice Palmer, Principal/SVP, HKS; and Mark Pratt, VP, National Director of Hospitality, The Walsh Group.

Vito Lotta, Vice President Architecture & Design, Hilton, was named “Brand Design Executive of the Year.” Lotta has over 25 years of experience in hospitality design and branding. Other nominees included Amy Hulbert, VP of Boutique and Upscale Brands, Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Chris Alvarado, Senior Director of Design & Development, Two Roads Hospitality; and Cory Brian Ingram, SVP, Creative, Dream Hotel Group.

Dave Lippert, VP, Procurement, Marriott International, received the award for “Brand Purchasing Executive of the Year.” Lippert has been in his current role with the company since 1989. Other nominees included Katherine Elardo, Director, Global Purchasing, Trump Hotels; Sarah Kaye, Strategic Sourcing Category Manager, Radisson Hotel Group; Ted Payne, Corporate Purchasing Director, Omni Hotels & Resorts; and JT Szczuka, Head of Procurement, IHG.

Mitch Parker, Partner, The Parker Companies, was named “Purchasing Company Executive of the Year.” Parker—who has been with the company for 32 years—spent nine years overseeing the company’s Los Angeles office as VP, West Coast Operations. Other finalists included Bill Langmade, President, Purchasing Management International; Benjamin O’Connor, President, HPG International; Marjorie Waldman, President, The Stroud Group; and Nicole Wood, VP, Summa International.

Robert Auerbach, VP, Purchasing, Island Hospitality Management, was named “Owner/Operator Purchasing Executive of the Year.” Auerbach, who joined the company in 1999, has more than 20 years of hospitality experience.

Other nominees included Jim Thompson, VP, Purchasing, Interstate Hotels & Resorts; Marla Davis, SVP, Procurement, Remington; Jay Schwartz, SVP, Starwood Capital Group; David Hoezler, Corporate VP, Purchasing, Station Casinos; and Stacey Taylor, SVP & Chief Procurement Officer, MGM Resorts International.

Meanwhile, Prism Hotels & Resorts was recognized as the “Owner/Operator of the Year.” Other nominees included Vesta Hospitality Group; Aimbridge Hospitality; Prism Hotels; Charlestowne Hotels; and Hospitality Ventures Management Group.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts received the “Excellence in Sustainability” award for the Element by Westin Huntsville hotel. Other nominees included Starwood Capital Group; Colwen Hotels; and Courtesy Management.

The Gettys Group accepted the award for the “Most Impactful Repositioning” for the Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire. Other nominees included Noelle (Rockbridge Group); The Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort & Spa (Carey Watermark); and the Dominick (CIM Group).

Vesta Hospitality Group was recognized for the “Most Unique Hotel Conversion” for Riverhouse On the Deschutes. Other finalists for the award included Ames Boston Hotel (Benchmark Hospitality); AC Hotel Atlanta Downtown (Peachtree Hotel Group); and The Marquette Hotel (JMI Realty).

Prism Hotels received the “Best Experiential Hotel” award for the El Conquistador Tucson. Other nominees included The Adolphus (Rockbridge); Mountain Shadows Resort (Westroc Hospitality); and Hotel EMC2 (SMASHotels).

The Moxy Seattle Downtown was recognized for “Best Integration of Social Media.” Other nominees included Hotel RL Brooklyn (Real Hospitality); Moxy Seattle Downtown (Stonebridge Companies); 21C Museum Hotel Nashville (21C Museum Hotels); and Unscripted Durham (Dream Hotel Group).

The “Best New Boutique/Lifestyle” award was received by the Kimpton Hotel Born Denver. Other nominees included B on Canal (B Hotels & Resorts); Hotel LeVeque (The Gettys Group); and The Adelphi Hotel (Adelphi Hospitality Group).

The “Most Dynamic New Build” was given to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, a Hilton Worldwide property. Other nominees included the Hyatt House Washington, DC (Concord Hospitality); InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown (Hanjin Group); Moxy Denver/Cherry Creek (Vision Hospitality Group); and Homewood Suites by Hilton Silao Airport (Edco Turismo Bajio).

For more information on The Lodging Industry Elite Awards: including the 2019 Event, please email info@hotelinteractive.com or call (631) 424-7755.

Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
Hotel Interactive®, Inc.
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