3rd Annual Hotel Hero Awards

March 2, 2006 | Marriott Marquis

Winners are noted with an asterisk (*).

Beyond the Call of Duty

John Majka
Security Officer, Cathedral Hill Hotel

John Majka is a true Ambassador of Hospitality to both the hotel's internal and external customers. Recently a conference attendee's purse, containing her credit cards and all of her identification was stolen. The Director of Security and John brought the shaken guest to the Security Office to assure her that all assistance in contacting the necessary agencies and individuals would be given and, as importantly, it was an opportunity to calm the guest. Experienced as a retired police officer, John took it upon himself to walk around the neighborhood in search of her purse. To everyone's amazement, John found the purse on Sutter and Franklin whereupon it was returned to the grateful guest. John's primary duties are, of course, safety and security, at which he excels, but it is his positive and welcoming demeanor and Beyond the Call of Duty service to one and all that makes him a star.
Henry "Hank" Potter
Concierge, Hilton San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Hank Potter always goes out of his way for his guests and fellow team members. During the summer months when the hotel's occupancy changes to a large number of families from all over the world, Hank brought in plush toys, coloring books and pull toys to make the lobby more "kid friendly". When families arrive and the children start to get restless, the Front Desk offers the hotel's "Magical Box" to entertain the kids and settle the nerves of the parents. Parents love the special attention their children receive. Hank Potter never fails to exceed the expectations of guests with his Beyond the Call of Duty personal touches.
Phil Hoffman
Bellperson, Omni San Francisco

It is often said that bellmen "live for their tips". But every opportunity Phil Hoffman gets, he proves he is more interested in helping others than himself. Just a few examples of Phil's dedication...when PBX found itself without an operator due to sick calls, Phil volunteered to cover the shift himself, made the wakeup calls, dispatched Engineering and answered inquiries with minimal guidance. When the news vendor failed to show up, although Phil had just completed another grueling graveyard shift, without hesitation he personally delivered papers to each of the 362 guestrooms. Phil treats one and all like a VIP.  Phil makes this type of effort every day...no tips involved...not in the job description...just the dedication and commitment of one who goes Beyond the Call of Duty.
Joey Nubla
Guest Service Representative, Omni San Francisco
The Omni's associates know they can count on Joey Nubla. Recently, a departing guest left behind his laptop. Joey immediately sprang into action! He remembered that the guest was visiting Charles Schwab...but which one? There are several in the Financial District. Joey actually sprinted to three different buildings and eventually found the guest, who hadn't as yet noticed his laptop was missing. Whatever was in the laptop must have been important, because the guest thanked Joey for saving his job! While others worry about their own problems, Joey goes Beyond the Call of Duty for everyone!
Ken Luc*
Room Service Attendant, Hotel Palomar

Ken Luc certainly knows how to provide that “home-away-from-home” feeling to a visitor. A visitor from China who received his daily SFChronicle, was unable to read English. Ken learned of this and took it upon himself to go to Chinatown on his lunch breaks to bring the guest a Chinese-language paper for the length of his stay. A guest called Room Service wanting to order fish, but nothing on the menu appealed to him. He explained to Ken exactly what he wanted and asked for a recommendation on where he might get it. Instead of merely recommending a restaurant, Ken ordered, picked up, paid for, re-plated and served the seafood to the happy and satisfied guest. Ken often goes Beyond the Call of Duty to provide comfort and restorative well-being to his guests.

Unsung Hero

Manwy Choy
Second Cook, Cathedral Hill Hotel
"Mr. Choy," as he is affectionately known, quietly, conscientiously and diligently performs his duties with characteristic good cheer and dedication. Cathedral Hill's Executive Chef, Bruce Patron, relates, "I came into the kitchen around 7am on my first Christmas at the Cathedral Hill Hotel. Manwy has been there since 6am. I asked him to start searing the chickens for the day's banquet event for 600, until I could give him his assignment for the day. To my astonishment, he had already seared all of the 600 chickens. He takes charge of the kitchen whenever a manager is not around. He is the hub of the wheel that is the kitchen at our hotel." He comes to work early and cheerfully accepts every task he is given. For over 30 years, Mr. Choy has been a dedicated culinarian. Truly, he is an Unsung Hero, not only of the Cathedral Hill Hotel, but also of the entire San Francisco hotel industry.
Sergio Contreras
Housekeeping Supervisor, Galleria Park Hotel

Sergio Contreras has been a loyal employee of the Galleria Park Hotel for 20 years. He stayed on when the hotel changed ownership and made the transition easy for all the new and existing team. An integral part of both the Catering and Housekeeping departments, his position is truly unique as he serves as both a Supervisor in Housekeeping and Head Banquet Houseman. He cheerfully arrives each day at 5:00 am ready for whatever the day will bring. One recent morning, a guest decided that a room needed to be completely reset. "No problem," he said with a smile and set about changing out the room, by himself. He gladly and without hesitation covers a graveyard shift when asked. Sergio is so well respected at the Galleria Park and elsewhere that other companies have tried to lure him away. Luckily, his loyalty to the Galleria Park is as strong as his dedication.
Andrew Hom
Reservation Consultant, Mandarin Oriental San Francisco
Andrew Hom began his career in the hotel industry with the opening of the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco in 1988. He has been a Reservation Consultant at the hotel and has cultivated a successful career by consistently delivering to the hotel's customers a fantastic reservation experience. Many of the hotel's clients refer to Andrew as a "friend" who extends the utmost attention to the details of their reservation. A colleague writes, "I often marveled at Andrew's ability to finesse the inventory of a small hotel in demand times, mutually satisfying both the revenue menegement and the clients, which we know are often of opposing viewpoints." Andrew received the first and only 100% score on the ResMax reservation test calls, meeting all standards established by the company, AAA, and Mobil. He raises the bar on customer service and the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco is understandably proud to call Andrew a member of their team.
Amy Lee
Seamstress, Parc 55 Hotel
Amy Lee has held the position of seamstress at the Parc 55 Hotel since 1984. As the hotel's seamstress, Amy ensures that all employee uniforms are in good condition. She inspects and makes all needed repairs to uniforms, as well as to guestroom drapery, bedding and shower curtains. There are also the special projects that come along which Amy handles. The hotel has an atrium and large verandah which require custom draperies, which were made by Amy. Meeting room door-stops were designed and made for the hotel by Amy. Not surprisingly, she's readily assisted many a guest who popped a button or snagged a zipper or ripped a tear right before some significant event. There is Amy, ready to wield needle and thread (or whatever other equipment may be called for) to the rescue.
Elaine Tomita*
Benefits Manager, Palace Hotel

E.T., as Elaine Tomita is affectionately known, provides outstanding service to the more than 500 Palace employees and their families. The details of benefits and health coverage can be overwhelming. E.T. takes the time to learn every aspect of each program. She is a one-woman show, assisting with new hires, open enrollment, claims, retirement, transfers, and never-ending questions. She has seen the Palace through the closing of the hotel for renovation in 1989, and the reopening in 1991, working with four GMs. At any time of the day she will be assisting someone at her desk. Elaine understands that the associates' interest in their benefits extend to their responsibility to their families, and she appreciates their hard work to earn these benefits. Over the years, the hotel has kept pace with the latest technology, but unlike a computer, Elaine's years of experience and her commitment to provide personalized care to each employee cannot be replaced. For these reasons, Elaine Tomita is the Palace Hotel's hero.

Rising Star

Laura Meith
Front Office Manager, Best Western Tuscan Inn
Although Laura Meith has been in the hotel industry for a relatively short period, she has progressed very rapidly. She joined the BW Tuscan Inn as Front Office Manager in July of last year, and since that time has remodeled the back office, created new checklists for the Front Desk, hired and trained several new guest service agents, organized an employee outing, created and taught a guest service and telephone etiquette class for the entire Kimpton Group and raised Employee Opinion Survey results by nearly 10 points. She walks through the door everyday with a smile on her face and an attitude that exudes customer service. There is no doubt that, with her vibrant personalisty and "can-do" attitude, Laura Meith will have as great an impact on the hotel community as she has on the Kimpton Group.
Alejandra Almaraz
Guest Services Supervisor, Laurel Inn

Since her first day at the Laurel Inn, Alejandra Almaraz's "can-do" attitude has made her a star performer. She oversees all the guest relations programs, and her commitment to customer service hsa resulted in her being honored as Dreammaker of the Year and Rising Star by Joie de Vivre Hospitality. She's even been the Tooth Fairy to a recent six-year old guest! Alejandra promotes a multicultural atmosphere by using her Spanish language skills to benefit employees throughout the organization and the community. She translates correspondence, the company-wide newsletter and conducts New Hire Orientation in Spanish. She's already shown her leadership skills. Remember her name!  
Raya Galang*
Conference Services Coordinator, Omni San Francisco

When Raya joined the Omni team as a Front Desk Agent, she immediately distinguished herself by delivering over-the top customer service while showing great attention to the technical aspects of her job. During a management vacancy she rose to the occasion, overseeing former peers in the Bell, Door, Valet, PBX and Desk teams. Shortly thereafter, Raya was again promoted to Catering Coordinator. As an Omni Service Tradition Ambassador, Raya devotes hours to elevating the art of hospitality. Her creative campaign to increase recognition of employee achievements has met with astounding success. Raya embraces the culture of hospitality and is a force of inspiration and change. She's definitely destined to make a significant in our hotel community.
Claudia Gales
Front Office Manager, Villa Florence Hotel
Since joining the Kimpton Group, Claudia Gales has consistently demonstrated her leadership skills and capacity to be a positive influence on those around her. Progressing from Reservations Agent to Guest and Revenue Manager at the Monticello Inn in less than five years and then on to her current position in late 2001, her stature in her company and the industry has grown along with her responsibilities. Numerous letters - fan mail, really - from customers, community organizations and colleagues attest to Claudia's unstinting dedication to her profession and her team. In adition, Claudia is completely engaged in community outreach with programs that benefit many immigrant job-training and women's support agencies. To her team, she's the glue and the cheerleader, the mentor and the social conscience. All done with Claudia's inimitable Latin flare and style.
Paul Piscopo
Executive Chef, W San Francisco
Since delighting fine-dining patrons at some of San Francisco's best known restaurants, such as Aqua, Oliveto, Charles' Nob Hill and Masa's, Paul Piscopo has been garnering rave reviews. After an overseas stint as Consulting Chef for Grand Blue Restaurant in Tokyo, and other ventures, he joined W San Francisco as Executive Sous in 2003 and was named Executive Chef about a year later. In addition to his culinary acumen - besides delicious food which is highly praised by all, he somehow manages to have the lowest food cost of any W Hotel. He has employed numerous interns from the California Culinary Academy and hsa recently been accepted by his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America, to participate in their externship program. It will come as no surprise that Paul was recently named as a Rising Star Chef for 2005 by starchef.com.

Lifetime Achievement - Operations

Barney Garcia
Doorman, Omni San Francisco

Barney Garcia's customer service genius is not limited to his hotel's guests. He is an ambassador of San Francisco's hotel community, extending the spirit of hospitality into the street: to the cable car riders and operators, he waves and shares a laugh as they pass by; to his many fans who work in the Financial District who see him everyday, he extends a friendly hello; to the hundreds of passers-by with whom Barney will smile and chat. He views Hospitality as a "calling" and has nearly 25 years in the business, working as a busboy, waiter, bartender, and bellman. Barney is a role model of professionalism, always on time and never missing a day of work, mentoring and training new team members, and respectfully and gracefully advising on how service improvements can be made, when needed.The best advertising for our community is the good cheer spread by our hospitality professionals who reach hundreds of guests each day.
Steven Pace*
Night Auditor, Palace Hotel

Steven’s mantra is: “Excellent customer service is the collection of many small steps on the path to a remembered experience.” The graveyard shift can offer some very interesting opportunities for excelling in responding to guest inquiries, and Steven responds to each call as if it was the only task at hand. “Absolutely, madam. Of course we can get a bone for your dog.” “No problem sir. We’ll send someone to the 24-hour pharmacy right away.” He not only makes an impact on the Palace community but reaches out to assist in developing future hospitality employees, giving guest lectures to aspiring hospitality students. A quote from Steven’s lecture notes: “…It is not always what you do for your guests that defines great service, it is how you make them feel.” For 50 years, he as worked with one company. Of those 50 years, 15 of them have been with the Palace providing a truly outstanding contribution to an industry he loves.
Aurora Lund
Housekeeping Supervisor, San Francisco Marriott

Aurora Lund began her career with Marriott in 1985. Throughout the years, she has been recognized by her peers for the level of service she provides to hotel guests and associates alike. Just one of many examples is her commutment to customer service occurred when a guest informed the Housekeeping Department she was allergic to the chemicals used in cleaning the hotel linen and terry. Aurora took it upon herself to personally remove all the linens from the room and washed them separately to eliminate all the chemicals. A role model to the entire Housekeeping staff, she provides training to new hires such as housekeepers, managers, and lobby and guest room turndown attendants. She'll personally wash baby blankets and sheets for cribs, have the Wardrobe Department sew fitted sheets out of non-reclaimable ones and spend time cleaning shower curtains to extend their life. Aurora's behind-the-scenes activities positively impact the workflow and operations of her department and, ultimately, guest satisfaction.
Raquel Lara
Housekeeping Supervisor, The Archbishop's Mansion

Raquel Lara has spent most of her adult life caring for the guests at the Archbishop's Mansion. She arrives each morning with a broad smile and an enthusiastic hello, dons her impeccable outfit and delivers breakfast on a silver tray to the Mansion's guests. Her work extends far beyond the responsibilities of a Housekeeping Supervisor. She is, more aptly, Matriarch of the Mansion. Raquel does everything in her power to ensure guest satisfaction and even the most demanding challenges are met with grace and good humor. All look to Raquel for her counsel on the overall operation of the Mansion. Nothing escapes her notice. For all these reasons and more, in 2004 Raquel was the first Joie de Vivre employee to be awarded the company's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Albert Serapio
Bellman/Concierge, Villa Florence

Albert Serapio began his career at the King George Hotel in 1985, and has been a Bellman/Concierge with the Villa Florence since 1989. Described by his colleagues and associates as having made the service at the Villa Florence legendary, Albert exemplifies excellence in customer service. Albert delights at making every guest experience memorable. Furthermore, he is responsible for many return visitors and colleagues alike at the Villa Florence, for that much desired “home away from home” experience travelers are seeking. Admired and respected by every hotel in the Kimpton Group and all around Union Square, Albert Serapio assists the hotel in training new employees. His many colleagues view him as not just an admired co-worker, but as a role model and mentor.

Lifetime Achievement - Department Manager

Alma Beasenburg
Director of Services, Omni San Francisco

Alma has been in the hotel industry for 24 years, with the last 17 of them in San Francisco. In all the hotels she has worked she has made an incredible impact on the hotel and the colleagues to which she is a role model. Not only has she earned a reputation for keeping the ceaning hotel her GM has ever seen, but she motivates and coaches her staff to do the same.
Chris Giuntoli*
Director of Event Planning, San Francisco Marriott

Chris began his career with the San Francisco Marriott as a Banquet Housekeeping Aide when the hotel opened in 1989. His hard work and consistent dedication to service led to a rapid progression to his current position. At the age of 18, when Chris was working on his degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management, he was diagnosed with a rare eye condition, Juvenile Macular Degeneration. Within four months, Chris had lost his eyesight. This in no way stopped him from pursuing and succeeding at his career. He has memorized the Marriott’s football-sized layout of meeting space, its sets and capacities, along with every hotel phone extension. With finesse, self-confidence and a passion for excellence, Chris’ daily challenges appear effortless to his customers, his staff of 16 and his co-workers. He has won every Marriott Award and has been named Convention Service Manager of the Year by two industry magazines.
Jim McCasland
Chief Concierge, Hilton San Francisco

From his first hour just filling in for the Concierge in 1987, Jim McCasland has been making the difficult a snap and the impossible just one more opportunity to excel. The very first guest he served while substituting at the Concierge Desk asked him to locate a rare 18th century violin he wished to purchase. Through ingenuity, determination and simply asking the right questions, Jim located the instrument in Vienna, arranged for the purchase, customs paperwork, and delivery to the guest. When Jim became a concierge in the late 80's, the Northern California Concierge Association was just forming and, as a pioneer in the organization, he has helped make its reputation as the finest Concierge Association in the country. Jim is also a member of the Board of Les Clef d'Or USA Ltd. His hotel and industry awards are numerous, including being named Concierge of the Year by Where Magazine. Jim's philosophy of customer service is: "The need - the desire to being happiness to others has to be in your heart."

Lifetime Achievement - Hotel Executive

John Hutar*
Vice President and General Manager, Hotel Nikko San Francisco
John Hutar began his career in hospitality as a Systems Analyst for Stouffer Hotels and Resorts nearly 25 years ago. Since he joined Hotel Nikko San Francisco in 1997 as Vice President and General Manager, he has demonstrated a unique ability to showcase gracious and seamless hospitality to customers and to be a role model to associates, managers and corporate executives, alike. Always a community activist, upon his arrival, John immediately got involved with neighborhood organizations such as Glide Memorial Church and former Mayor Brown’s Taxi Task Force. He has served on the Board of The National Association of Down Syndrome and is actively involved with Special Olympics of Northern California. John was President of the Hotel Council of San Francisco from 2002 to 2004, and in 2005, he became a board member of the California Hotel Lodging Association. In 2007 he will be Chairman-elect for the San Francisco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. John is especially proud of his involvement with the Mayor’s 2004 Strategic Planning Committee to End Chronic Homelessness. His ability to be the General Manager, Head Customer Service Agent, Mentor, Community Leader, Father and Husband is impressive; however, the skill with which he juggles his professional and personal obligations without falling short in any area is what inspires those around him.
Stefan Muhle
General Manager, The Orchard Hotel
Since winning fourth place at the Berlin youth Championships in the "Catering Trade," Stefan Muhle knew he would have a career in hospitality. He grew up working as an apprentice and intern at resort hotels in Germany and Switzerland and studied at the renowned Institute Cesar Ritz. He moved to the U.S. in 1989, graduated from Washington State University, and was hired by the four-star, Drake Hotel in Chicago and was made Director of Catering Sales in 1996, and increased catering revenue by $2 million. Ironstone Vineyards brought Stefan out West, where he made history in his first year by increasing revenue 23%. Stefan was named General Manager of the award-winning Orchard Hotel, which opened in late 2000. By implementing his customer service skills, results-oriented management style, and strategic marketing strategy, Stefan and his team have created one of the finest boutique hotels in the country. Stefan is also active in industry organizations.
Ingrid Summerfield
Vice President Hotel Operations, Joie de Vivre Hospitality

After completing her education in Hotel Management in Switzerland, Ingrid Summerfield began her hospitality career in San Francisco 25 years ago. At both large and boutique properties, Ingrid worked her way to ever-increasing responsibilities in Finance, Sales and Marketing, and then to General Manager at Joie de Vivre's Commodore Hotel in 1994. Currently, she is Vice President of Hotel Operations. She has served with distinction and praise with the Union Square Association and with the Hotel Council of San Francisco's Board since 1998. Ingrid has also served a two-year term on San Francisco's Local Homeless Coordinating Board. Praised by hospitality industry and civic leaders for her activism and loyalty, in the words of a close colleague, "Ingrid has consistently demonstrated the behavior and attitude that encourages others to excel. Her experience in the hospitality industry, her maturity and professional leadership set an example for her colleagues and associates to follow." Ingrid has set the standard for commitment to customer service and dedication to both internal and external customers. Ingrid was a 2005 Lifetime Achievement Finalist.

Community Spirit

The Argent Hotel
The Argent's Mission Statement encompasses building relationships with their neighbors and protecting the environment as being vital to the well being of the community. This belief is realized through individual and team volunteer activities with organizations such as Project Homeless Connect and other serice agencies. Through their close alliance with the local chapter of "Make-A-Wish Foundation," the wishes of many have been fulfilled. On an on-going basis, excess perishable and prepared food is donated to Food Runners who deliver the food to shelters and neighborhood programs. Through the Argent's ongoing relationship with the Hotel Non-Profit Collaborative, many non-profits are benefited through the collective gathering of excess supplies and equipment, personal hygiene products, linen and clothing. The Argent's employees work diligently to divert reusable and recyclable materials out of landfill and their efforts have been recognized by the State of California's Waste Reduction Award Program (WRAP) in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and also through the Commercial Recycler of the Year (CORY) Award in 2004 and 2005. The Argent Hotel can be proud of its status as an industry leader in corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
Best Western Tuscan Inn
The Tuscan Inn has been invested in the community since they opened their doors in 1990. The Tuscan Inn staff have always been involved in Fisherman's Wharf organizations and surrounding neighborhood groups such as Rotary International, Telegraph Hill Community Center, North Beach Chamber of Commerce, Hotel Council and SFCVB, to name a few. The Tuscan Inn General Manager, 2005 Hotel Hero Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Jan Misch, has just completed her two-year term as President, and has been on the Board of Governors of The Fisherman's Wharf Merchant Association for many years. Community is the pillar and power of a neighborhood's vitality and The Tuscan Inn embraces this team spirit by supporting and volunteering for Fleet Week Celebration, Neighborhood Clean-Up, Crab Festival, Taxi Cab promotion, Tel Hi Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Wrapping, and Christmas Festival of Lights, among other groups. The Tuscan Inn employees also volunteer by helping with reading classes at Yick Wo Alternative Elementary School, delivering meals for Project Open Hand and singing for residents of nursing homes. With the devestation of Hurricane Katrina, the hotel "adopted" a former employee and provided donations of money and clothing. Through their continuing efforts in recycling and sustainability, The Tuscan Inn has been certified as a Green Business/Hotel by San Francisco's Department of the Environment. "Community Spirit" is second nature for the team at the Tuscan Inn.
Phoenix Hotel*
For 13 years the Phoenix Hotel and Joie de Vivre Hospitality (including CEO, Chip Conley) have played host to one of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development organization’s most successful fundraising efforts, the Celebrity Pool Toss. The event benefits TNDC’s After-School Program. Chip purchased the Phoenix Hotel on January 1, 1987. As he was renovating the Tenderloin motel, it was impossible not to notice the struggle which characterized life in the always challenging neighborhood. He was particularly struck by how many children were being raised in this environment and wanted to do something to make a difference. The idea for the Celebrity Pool Toss came about because, as part of the remodeling program of the Phoenix, the bottom of the pool had been painted by artist, Francis Forlenza, who created a beautiful mural that received local, national and even international publicity. Chip determined how his now famous pool could be used to benefit the neighborhood’s children. Get local celebrities to agree to be tossed into the pool and get their friends and others to bid on the right to toss them in! That first year, the Pool Toss raised $10,000. By 1994, when local celebrity event decorator, Stanlee Gatti, became involved bringing the Pacific Heights crowd with him, the Pool Toss became significantly more profitable. From 1992 to 2005, over $2 million has been raised. This funding allows the neighborhood’s children to participate in an after-school program that serves 65 kids daily and over 300 in the course of a year. As anyone who has taken part in the Celebrity Pool Toss knows, this lively Phoenix Hotel poolside fundraiser can compete with any party as a good time to be had for all, and more importantly, has been a force of positive change for the neighborhood.

Innovation

Clift
The core of Clift's personalized customer experience concept is called EDGE (Engaging Dynamic Guest Experience). By facilitating the Clift's employees through their EDGE program, they are shown different and creative ways to allow these qualities to shine. When an employee provides an outstanding EDGE experience, their story and picture are displayed on the EDGE Board as the Clift's way of recognizing the efforts of the staff and encouraging others to be just as "EDGEY". "The beauty of our hotel and the reason we stand apart is that we are a hotel for the Father and the Son, the Mother and the Daughter, for all generations."
The Orchard Hotel
The Orchard Hotel has made close ties with members of the local retail community, such as Macy's, Nordstrom's and other fine Union Square shops. By doing this they are able to provide their guests with a number of beautiful shopping package experiences for their enjoyment and convenience while they are visiting San Francisco. Discount coupons, personal shoppers and concierge services for deliverey of packages from retail stores directly to the hotel are added convenience for the Orchard Hotel guest. Prior to guest arrival, arrangements can be made to assist the guest with any of their shopping, sightseeing, dining or entertainment needs. All of this is done to prepare the hotel and the guest for an enjoyable stay. Personalized service coupled with convenence is what sets the Orchard Hotel apart.
Villa Florence Hotel*
The EarthCare environmental program has become a hallmark of the Villa Florence Hotel and has helped make this property and the entire Kimpton Group leaders in the industry in managing and marketing their "Green" hotels. Led by General Manager Michael Pace, his guidance, and passion for resource sustainability has led to environmental standards which have been adopted by each of Kimpton's properties across the United States. The website describes the work being done in this area. The Kimpton Group was the only hotel company represented at Green Festivals in both Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Employees and partners of the Villa Florence Hotel participated in the exhibits and shared ideas and concepts with the Green Festival attendees. As more and more meeting planners are seeking out hotels that provide higher standards in eco-awareness and protection, the Villa Florence Hotel has led the way in innovative approaches to environmental hospitality, through the products used, conservation, recycling and donation of excess goods and supplies.