9th Annual Hotel Hero Awards

February 28, 2012 | Marriott Marquis

Winners are noted with an asterisk (*).

Beyond the Call of Duty

Chantal Anderson
Executive Assistant, Palace Hotel
Chantal Anderson is a positive force to be reckoned with! There was a guest who stayed at the Palace and then moved down to San Diego and stayed at the US Grant. While there, the guest got in to a taxi at the hotel's front door to go to church on a Sunday. When the guest got out of the cab and went in to church, he realized his cell phone might have slipped off his belt. He called the hotel and reported this hoping the hotel might remember the cab to call the cab company. The hotel did all it could but could not recover the phone. The guest called Chantal remembering how helpful she was and asked her what can be done. The guest said that he would be in church and will not be able to help any further. Chantal said to leave it with her. During the day, Chantal called the hotel and spoke to the doorman who put people in cabs approximately that time in the morning. She then called security and asked security to play back the security tapes for that time and was able to identify the guest. The tape showed the cab the guest got in to. With that, Chantal called the cab company and was able to confirm the cab and the driver. Unfortunately, the phone wasn't found but the work and initiative was remarkable.
Paul "Scott" Bellamy
Front Desk Agent, Fairmont San Francisco
We love Scott. He is so great. He usually is here on his days off, making sure his colleagues have a birthday cake or a card. He is always positive and always glad to help by doing whatever it takes to increase our guests’ satisfaction. Scott, knowing that a guest was celebrating his birthday, purchased a large birthday card, had a banner made, and got on a plane to Minnesota to hand deliver the birthday wishes to the guest from the hotel. This is not just above and beyond, but true hospitality at its finest. San Francisco, the hotel, and Scott are these guests’ favorite places and people to see. 
Laura Campi
Guest Service Representative, Omni San Francisco

Beyond delivering the superior guest service she is known for at the Front Desk, Laura strives to improve service hotel-wide. As part of our Omni Service Tradition Committee she was encouraged to stay at the hotel for the true guest experience. Laura took her assignment to new heights of deception! She arrived in disguise and played the role of a guest. Without a suspicious glance, Laura took detailed notes of each aspect of her experience. The Committee was impressed with her comprehensive presentation summarizing key opportunities for improvement and the epic story of her undercover experience. A SFSU Hospitality graduate, Laura has a keen business sense and is pro-active.
Sharon Chism
Director of Catering, Hotel Whitcomb

Sharon Chism came to work one morning having no idea that she was about to be involved in a treasure hunt. Within the list of unread email messages was one from a proposed client that she had spoken to in the past. The client informed Sharon that she misplaced her shawl while staying at the property. She offered a reward for its return, but Sharon only wanted to get the garment back to her. She came to find out that the shawl was from Scotland and belonged to her grandmother. This became a top priority for Sharon. The client sent a picture of the shawl to Sharon. Sharon retraced each spot the client visited. She went from store to store inquiring with employees, and showing people the picture that was sent to her. Sharon continued her hunt even in her off time. After a while the gust called back and put a stop to the search. She felt that after this long of a search with no result that her grandmother’s shawl was lost. Sharon couldn’t help but feel remorse for the loss, so Sharon bought her a similar one. 
James Tapscott*
Journey Ambasssador, Hilton Union Square

Going Beyond the Call of Duty is all in a day’s work for James Tapscott, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square’s Journey Ambassador. James speaks Japanese and Chinese and always astounds our guests from Asia with his language skills. But that’s just one aspect of his many talents and remarkable loyalty to his hotel and guests. In late 2008, a Japanese family were sightseeing around town in a rented car. They stopped at the top of Lombard Street to take pictures and fell victim to thieves who prey on tourists. Everything was stolen: money, passports, tickets, souvenirs…and dignity. James learned what happened and for two full days he escorted the family to the Japanese Consulate, the passport agency, the airlines and every other official agency who had to be informed. He finally escorted them to the airport and saw them off. His heroic efforts on their behalf turned the nightmare back into a dream holiday. From distributing umbrellas on a rainy day to quoting chapter and verse on baseball stats to other sports fanatics he runs into in the hotel, to mentoring new employees on the art of service, James Tapscott has already earned Hero status at the Hilton.

Rising Star

Janell Dirksen
Operations, Larkspur Hotel Union Square

The true spirit of a San Francisco hotelier is to go above and beyond, to create an exceptional hotel experience for a visitor, a fellow team member, or the city itself. Janell Dirksen epitomizes that spirit. Simply put, Janell wants to be involved…the fuller her plate, the better her results. Not only does she want to know all facets of the business, she wants to master them. She is selfless with her time and is the last to take credit for excellent work. Being successful in her professional life is not enough; she wants to make an impact in her community. She was responsible for launching the Green Team (environmentally conscience program) at her hotel and expanded it to other properties. Being involved in her community is a passion; you may find her building homes with Habitat for Humanity or raising money for the SPCA. She donates her time to Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization that prepares preteen girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Like a true leader, she makes those around her stronger.
Kirsten Guill*
Hotel Manager, Westin St. Francis

After graduating from Harvard School of Business in 2006, Kirsten joined the MBA operations program at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Kirsten's career choices have always been based on the people and when she met General Manager, Jon Kimball she knew he would support her career aspirations. Kirsten began her tenure at the Westin St. Francis in early 2010 as Director of Housekeeping overseeing a department of 300 associates. Associates' pride in their work and the hotel increased and this was demonstrated in the associate satisfaction survey - the housekeeping department score increased by 13 points from the previous year. Kirsten was then promoted to the Director of Rooms in early 2011. With Kristen's leadership, the team was able to translate the customer needs into innovative strategic solutions, like a summer strategy for an expected high volume of transient leisure guests in the summer months. With the highest ADR in the history of the hotel, the Guest Satisfaction scores continue to peak. Kirsten was promoted to Hotel Manager in August 2011. Even in the early stages of her career, Kirsten has successfully mentored tenured, seasoned managers at the hotel and at Starwood properties within the City by collaborating with them and sharing her unique skills set. We have no doubt that Kirsten will rise to a General Manager position within the area in the coming years and continue to be an influential member of the San Francisco hotel industry for years to come.  
Michelle Holmberg
Sales Manager, Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Webster’s defines the word “overachiever” as one who achieves success over and above the standard or expected level especially at an early age. As a consummate overachiever Michelle had innovative ideas to streamline the F&B operations by creating new dessert concepts for menus, and themed breaks like the successful Tech Break where attendees can relax by playing Wii or X-Box. Even with Michelle’s busy work schedule, she still finds time to give back to her community through volunteering with Make-A-Wish Foundation, GLIDE, Florence Crittendon and welcomed soldiers home with her dance group. In addition, she attends Leadership Retreats which are designed to bring together volunteers from all over the nation for an interactive exchange of ideas and best practice sharing. She has exceeded expectations and goals as a Sales Manager, progressing rapidly with her understanding of the industry, and was awarded the Hotel Nikko Manager of the Year in 2011.
Travis Saville
Housekeeping Supervisor, Hotel Vitale/Laurel Inn

From the first day Travis started at the Water’s Edge Hotel, it was clear he was a motivated individual and destined for success in the entrepreneurial environment that Joie de Vivre offers. In less than three years, Travis has worked at four Joie de Vivre hotels assuming greater levels of responsibility in the areas of Front Desk, Accounting, Human Resources, and his most recent position as Housekeeping Supervisor at the Laurel Inn. Travis never misses a beat and was recognized as a Rising Star finalist at the annual Joie de Vivre awards in December 2011. In 2011 Travis participated in the Annual Beach Cleanup sponsored by JdV Hotels and organized fundraising and led Team Vitale in the SF Aids Walk on July 17, 2011. As Travis moves into his final year at USF, he will have the opportunity to being more community based work where he can leverage his degree and assist organizations with his specialized skill sets in marketing, PR, and design.
Tiffany Xaychaleune-Wade
Conference Service Manager, Hotel Palomar

In four years, Tiffany’s focus and attention to detail has contributed to strong business results. From the moment she joined the Monaco in a front desk role, she began implementing new processes and procedures to impact the overall guest experience. She advanced to front desk manager almost as quickly as guest service scores were rising. She was the direct contributor, leading the hotel to increase guest scores to an astonishing 94%. The entire leadership team of the Hotel Palomar unanimously looks at Tiffany as San Francisco’s Rising Star. She is the one person who delivers excellence consistently every single day. Over a year ago, she implemented the Hotel Palomar’s “People in Motion” program that leads daily fitness runs from the hotel to landmarks around the city. She delivers excellence in all that she does. Tiffany is not only the running star of the Hotel Palomar; she is also the Rising Star of our hotel community. Catch her if you can, she is blazing through her career with passion!

Unsung Hero

Jose Cortez
Prep Cook, Hotel Vitale
As we all know, the kitchen can be an intense and stressful environment that at times can frazzle even the most seasoned professional. Not true for Jose Cortez! No matter what challenges the day brings- Jose consistently brings his best to work and is an uplifting and inspirational spirit for the team. No matter what is asked of him, he does it without hesitation and with a smile on his face. Jose does not seek recognition for his good work. The only true measure for how he is appreciated is the level of respect people have for him. While we may not have guest letters or formal documents to submit, Jose has a significant impact on the guest experience at our hotel. He truly leads by example and uplifts the spirit in the kitchen. Many people describe cooking as a process that comes from the heart and Jose truly brings the heart to the kitchen at Hotel Vitale. It shines through to our guests with every bite.
Kevin Huang*
Housekeeping Houseperson, Hotel Nikko

Kevin Huang's attitude and performance epitomize an unsung hero. Recently he noticed some damp carpet outside a guest room, sensing something was wrong Kevin entered the room and jumped into action, water was flooding everywhere. He saved the guest's belongings, the furniture and carpeting and prevented serious damage to the building. Noticing a suspicious person in the back of the house, he prevented the theft of valuable hotel property. Kevin "rescued" a panicked guest who had locked herself in a service stairway. Realizing that guests were getting lost when trying to locate their rooms he created a signage system on the floors making it easy for guest to get their bearings. Kevin's extraordinary efforts combined with his often difficult day to day job duties earned his the Hotelier of the year award in 2011.
DeVan Luu
Steward, Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Since DeVan Luu joined Hyatt Hotels 13 years ago, he has been the gold-standard for how an associate can deliver outstanding and gracious service to guests and co-workers. Every day, DeVan is ready with the biggest and brightest smile and the encouragement to make each day count. He genuinely cares for the interests and needs of both guests and co-workers, and he always stands ready to lend a hand or go the extra mile to fulfill a guest’s or a co-worker’s need. A steward since 1998, DeVan loves his job and is constantly looking for ways to improve himself and the Stewarding Department. He is a problem solver, who is a genuine asset to the senior management team. During his time at the Hyatt Regency, DeVan has gained respect from his co-workers and has been honored countless times as a Distinguished Employee and Hyatt All-Star. In 2006, he was named the Associate of the Year. DeVan is loved and admired by his co-workers for his enthusiasm, kindness, and gracious example. He truly stands out as an Unsung Hero. 
Wai Chin Meng
Lobby Porter, Fairmont San Francisco

Meng started in hospitality in 1980 in housekeeping and moved to the position of Lobby Porter almost 27 years ago. Meng represents everything a company looks for in a hospitality employee. If she’s not in the lobby or public space, she is probably utilizing her empowerment in engineering locating light bulbs to replace or in Housekeeping communicating to her leadership team on ways to improve the public appearance. Meng has the opportunity to meet many guests traveling from all over the world. She is a true Ambassador to the Brand and San Francisco. You can see her escorting, giving directions and information about the hotel and San Francisco to many guests. Whenever she speaks about the hotel and city she lights up with the warmed and most sincere smile, demonstrating her pride for the hotel. She is truly an unsung hero to all those she encounters. 
Lily Ng
Accounts Payable Supervisor, Westin St. Francis

Lily joined the St. Francis team nearly thirty years ago as a Room Service Server, which is not an easy task when you are learning a new language. Her ability to rise to the challenge and improve herself truly inspired her team! Lily later moved to the accounting and finance department in an accounts payable position. Lily is able to find an important balance in improving the way things are done while preserving the processes of what the Director of Finance calls “one of the most audited hotels in the world”. Lily understands the challenges of working in a place where English is your second language. She spends countless hours helping associates who speak only Cantonese with translation and interpretation so they can provide the best level of service to our guests. Her diligent effort to pursue her career and overcome language barriers has inspired many of her peers to accept new challenges in the hotel. She exemplifies our core values of personal, instinctive, and renewal each day and inspires everyone to be their best! 

Lifetime Achievement - Operations

Hermenegildo Lagman*
Bell Person, Handlery Union Square Hotel

Hermie immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1977 and began working at the Handlery Union Square Hotel in May of 1979 as a Bell person. It is the only job Hermie has held in the United States. Hermie is always noted on guest comment cards, letters to the General Manager and travel websites as a team member who is always taking great care of our guests. One review from 2011 on the website, TripAdvisor.com was titled, “You can’t beat Hermie for taking good care of the traveler” in which the guest wrote, “Hermie is the person I’d like to commend. He always recognizes me and greets me warmly. He is cheerful, helpful and dependable. What a great employee the hotel has!” Everyone here at the Handlery Union Square Hotel could not agree more. As we know, Bell persons make the majority of their money in the tips they receive from the guests. This means a Bell person must make himself available to the guests to receive optimal gratuities. This stereotype does not apply to Hermie. Recently, a guest at the Handlery injured herself in her guestroom. The guest did not want an ambulance; however, did want medical attention. Hermie volunteered to push the guest in a hotel wheelchair to the medical clinic two blocks away. When the doctor at the medical clinic saw the injured guest, he recommended that she be taken to a hospital. Hermie loaded the guest and the wheelchair into a taxi and escorted the guest to St. Francis Hospital. While the guest was receiving medical treatment, Hermie waited diligently for her in the waiting room. By the time Hermie and the guest returned to the Hotel, six hours had elapsed. Selfless acts such as this are commonplace with Hermie.
Paul Lomski
Doorman, Palace Hotel

Paul finds his greatest reward in serving others. Paul remembers his guests, knows them by name and pays attention to details. Paul’s kind, warm personality lets people know that he is a good listener. As the leader at the front door of a hotel, a doorman’s duties often extend past the doors of your hotel. It is not unusual to become the provider of all sorts of information: directions, restaurant recommendations, site suggestions, and any help that might be needed, however big or small. One day, Paul was at his post outside the Palace when he saw a man running by, dodging through the crowd and carrying a handbag. Naturally, the person was followed by a woman yelling, “He stole my purse”. Paul chased the thief for several Market Street blocks and apprehended him. Meanwhile, a co-worker had called the police, who met Paul on the street, arrested the thief, and gave the purse back to the woman. The woman and the police were extremely appreciative. Paul received special recognition from the city of San Francisco for his valiant efforts. 
Veronica "Roni" Mar-Ligne
Restaurant Food Server, Hyatt Regency San Francisco

For more than 35 years, Roni Mar-Ligne has provided unparalleled hospitality to guests from around the world. She is among the first Hyatt Regency associates that guests encounter during their stay at the hotel, and her friendly smile and welcoming attitude make every guest feel valued, appreciated, and at home. Roni’s friendly demeanor and can-do attitude are appreciated and recognized by our guests, who frequently submit positive comment cards on her behalf. Roni has a never-ending positive energy that is contagious on the floor of the restaurant. With her ever-present smile, she is a leader in the restaurant, who takes time to guide new employees. She teaches other members of the staff on the basics of gracious and efficient service, and she instills in them the value of providing authentic hospitality to every guest who dines at our hotel. Thanks to Roni’s leadership and example, the Hyatt Regency is home to an unparalleled corps of F&B Professionals. 
Andrea Rippel
Chief Concierge, Four Seasons San Francisco

Andreas followed his hotel passion to the concierge desk, and through the past fourteen years in two Four Seasons locations, he has shown his commitment to our guests in all number of ways. He has completed the basics in luxury concierge of course, last minute dinners in top venues, theater tickets, Napa trip planning, etc. However, he has gone above and beyond to also put together last minute weddings, arranged for a puppy purchase and a dog walker while the guest was in the hotel and even purchased a street cleaner for a guest to ship home! Andreas has been noted for his attention to detail and his all-star guest interactions in numerous articles during his years. Through his ten years with the Four Seasons, he has kept his sense of humor and upbeat attitude, all the while standing 10+ hours a day on the front line of guest service at the concierge desk. It is not often that you find such a dedicated professional that can maintain such a high level of service and commitment while staying in the exact same place for ten years! 
Michael Thorburn
Concierge, Mandarin Oriental San Francisco

Michael Thorburn began his career with Mandarin Oriental Hotel in 1987 as a restaurant manager. He eventually decided that he wanted to try something else at the hotel and moved to the concierge desk. It was a “match made in heaven” for Michael. His outgoing personality and can do attitude made him a hit for guests staying at the hotel. Many of our guests return to our hotel because Michael directly takes care of the guests needs and remembers everyone by name. Michael possesses the most eloquent way of speaking which is referred to as his “magical communication skill”. Michael epitomizes the essence of luxury hospitality.

Lifetime Achievement - Department Manager

Barbara Greaves
Catering Manager, Fairmont San Francisco

Barbara has dedicated her career to hosting the “best events” ever at the hotel. She is relentless at ensuring the host of any event looks like a superstar. Barbara has been the Catering Manager for the Fairmont for over 30 years. She has been the planner, the hand holder, the shoulder to cry on, and the hostess extraordinaire for an event at the hotel. Barbara can handle anything from an intimate dinner for 50 people to a fund raising event with over 2,000 guests. Her creativity and love of the industry has made her the most sought after catering manager in the city. Barbara is customer service to the highest degree. Her emotional and passionate connection to her clients is unrivaled.
Jesus Ochoa*
Executive Steward, InterContinental San Francisco

Although he works predominantly "behind the scenes", Jesus Ochoa is the type of manager that ensures the satisfaction of both his internal and external guests --- most often, without them even realizing it. With the wisdom and experience that comes with 38 years of growing with a company, he knows instinctively and without pause what will work and what will not. He leads by example with compassion and endeavors to 'do the right thing' in all situations. He has successfully kept more than one F&B department's budget stable without compromising on quality and service. A proponent for recycling before it was politically and socially correct, Jesus has provided support and leadership in our hotels efforts to 'being green' by putting almost Herculean effort into ensuring that the compostable versus recyclable elements on our hotel's trash is properly delineated and collected. As well, partnering with our Director of Engineering, he serves on the hotel's "green" committee and was enlisted in assuring the hotel's LEED certification GOLD status. In recent years, rather than "dumping" excess banquet food, Jesus has provided substantial food donations to St. Anthony's Foundation for participants in their program.  
Robert Rhodes
Director of Banquets, Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Planning the G-8 Conference, the Academy Awards or a Papal Visit Luncheon? You want Robert Rhodes, Director of Banquets at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, orchestrating the event. Like a maestro at the podium, he knows exactly when to lead in the Overture and conduct every element and nuance of movement through to the finale. Robert moved to the Banquet Department at the Hilton in 1993, three years after arriving at the Hilton as Cityscape Bar Manager. His encyclopedic knowledge of food, wine and customer service were honored during his rise from Bus Boy to Captain/Maître D’ at the historic Tack Room of the Rancho del Rio in Tucson, Arizona. His intimate knowledge of menu and wine lists of San Francisco’s top restaurants keeps him at the forefront of taste and trends. 
Putu Sudarsana
Purchasing Manager, Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Putu was employed at the Hotel Nikko San Francisco before there was a Hotel Nikko San Francisco, as he was hired pre-opening 25 years ago. Putu’s main role is to always find the best product at the best price, which is no easy task in this economy. Couple that with being a standalone brand with only a portion of the bargaining power of the major brands. But leave it to Putu, and we can rest assured that we will get the best product, at the best price, quickly, and delivered with a smile that rivals the Cheshire cat. He is also assigned the task of ensuring that every guest gets whatever items they require, even though this often means working odd hours to find unusual products when they “appear” to not be available. 
Linda Tang
Executive Housekeeper, Argonaut Hotel

Everything Linda Tang does is an example of superior customer service. Linda can quickly assess a situation and decide how it should be handled within a split second. She truly cares for the guests of the hotels she works for and wants to be sure her guests are well taken care of by providing them with a safe and clean environment in which to stay. This is exemplified through her efforts and her efficient and detail-oriented staff. She implemented a Guest Thank You Card that room attendants leave for their guests to ensure they are comfortable and satisfied with their accommodations. Many of the guests are so touched; they take the time to respond back with thanks. She takes care of her staff by ensuring they have a safe and enjoyable work environment, the tools and support needed, and attention to them as individuals so they know they are important. 

Lifetime Achievement - Hotel Executive

Clem Esmail
General Manager, The Palace Hotel

Clem understands that the hospitality business is really about customer service. Listening to the “voice of the customer” is something he instills in his entire hotel team. His mantra, loud and clear, is “we don’t have time to wait. We need to deliver on our promises today!” To further understand guest needs, Clem hosts a monthly GM roundtable. This forum allows our line staff the opportunity to tell their GM how they think The Palace can improve service. All items that are brought up are acted upon and the response relayed back to the associate who surfaced the issue. He provides guidance as a role model by demonstrating integrity, commitment to delivering bottom line performance, a true passion for the luxury brand, and an unwavering belief that a great hotel needs a true sense of family to really shine and excel.
Tom Klein
Regional Vice President and General Manager, The Fairmont

“Select, lead, train and recognize,” is Klein’s mantra and personal mission statement toward providing exceptional guest service. Klein focuses on the customer and finds creative ways to satisfy guests’ needs while prioritizing colleague training to ensure that staff continues to provide uncompromising levels of service. In 2012, Klein was honored with CH&LA’s GM of the Year Award. Two years ago, Mayor Newsom presented a “Certificate of Honor” for his tireless public service and philanthropic contributions. On daily interaction with staffers at all levels, he constantly inspires colleagues to provide exceptional guest service. Tom brings the same intense level of engagement to his charitable endeavors. In 2012, Klein led an unprecedented city-wide crusade that united San Francisco hoteliers in a “Million Dollar Mission” (MDM) benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Enlisting colleagues’ specialized skills and corporate support, this groundbreaking campaign raised funds for financial, education and social services for those affected by blood cancer. Tom’s hard work on this campaign positively affected not only the Hospitality Industry, but the community as a whole.
Toni Knorr*
General Manager, St. Regis San Francisco
Throughout her distinguished career, Toni has been focused on creating extraordinary experiences. Toni's prior assignments have included positions with Millennium Partners, where she managed five luxury properties and the opening of Ritz Carlton properties in Boston, Georgetown and the Four Seasons San Francisco. She has also been the General Manager of the Grand Hyatt New York. And she has always held a part of San Francisco in her heart, even if not based in the city for a period of time, as she was also the General Manager of the Park Hyatt in San Francisco. Even during lean recession years, under her leadership, the St. Regis San Francisco has continued to achieve the coveted Forbes Five Star status, year after year. Toni is truly a mentor, not only to her hotel team but to students at both local colleges and universities as well as her alma mater. Her commitment to donating her time and energy to community service is evident through her extensive involvement in San Francisco organizations, charitable groups and schools. Toni is passionate about San Francisco. She has been the President of the Hotel Council. She has been named one of the most influential women in business by the San Francisco Business Times several years in a row. This year she finished her term as Chair of the San Francisco Travel Association, a year that brought about a new look, logo, name and revitalized focus to this organization. She is a member of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Modern Art Council, as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board of Directors. She is also actively involved in the University of San Francisco, McLaren's School of Business Hospitality Department Advisory Board, where she serves as a mentor to those about to enter the highly competitive hospitality business sector and is a member of the President's Council of Cornell Women. 
David Nadelman
General Manager, Grand Hyatt San Francisco

As General Manager at the Grand Hyatt for the past five years, as well as throughout his Hyatt career, David exemplifies the true meaning of authentic hospitality to our guests, our associates and the community. With refined leadership and business skills, he leads by example and has created a culture of exceptional customer service and employee engagement. By being “in touch” with our guests and associates, David mentors others to achieve success and provides associates with all the tools needed to lead our guest service initiatives and deliver the outstanding customer service our guests deserve. He is truly passionate about our guests and associates, and the hotel’s record of improved service scores is a true reflection of David’s dedication and leadership. 
Anna Marie Presutti
Vice President and General Manager, Hotel Nikko San Francisco

If it seems unusual that a blonde, Italian FEMALE serves as the Vice President for a Japanese, MALE dominated corporation then your thoughts would be correct. It is quite unusual. As the first female ever to be appointed for Japan Hotel Company/Nikko Hotels International, Anna Marie Presutti has led with a vengeance and is determined to “bridge the gap” professionally and culturally for her company as well as many other organizations. Her superiors would concur that she has not only been successful but has done it with grace, confidence, and always with a big vivacious laugh! In 2010 Anna Marie earned the “Outstanding General Manager of the Year for a large property” by the California Hotel and Lodging Association. In addition, she has been recognized five years in a row by the San Francisco Business Times as one of “The Most Influential Women in the Bay Area”.

Community Spirit

Hilton San Francisco Union Square*
The Hotel/Non-Profit Collaborative, a grass-roots organization that has operated under the direction of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square's Community Projects Manager (CPM) since 1997, is an entity that combines corporate social responsibility, community engagement and sustainable practices. It is simply a means to repurpose excess hotel supplies and equipment, direct these items to needy non-profit service agencies, and keep out of landfill. Whether helping a large property in finding a recipient for several hundred pounds of room and banquet linen, hundreds of used uniforms, kitchen equipment or furniture, or a small, boutique property in finding a recipient for partially used amenities, the donating hotel is making a connection to a community organization, keeping items out of landfill, and repurposing its supplies and equipment. The repurposing of Conference Leftovers has also generated a relationship with clients who do not wish to send back giveaways, and has also created a thriving re-use of foam core signage by various local arts organizations, as well. Ultimately, this program is a win-win-win - hotels, community and environment.
Hotel Nikko San Francisco
The Hotel Nikko San Francisco believes that compassionate support to the local community is pivotal to the neighborhood’s vitality and the hotel embraces this spirit by supporting and volunteering to help underprivileged babies, youths, adults, seniors, veterans, domestic violence victims, programs for the chemically dependent, AIDS patients, the mentally disabled, several homeless shelters, transitional housing centers, rehabilitative centers and a variety of programming on a monthly basis. The employees have embraced projects that impact several organizations: Project Homeless Connect, Project Night Night, Salvation Army, GLIDE, Florence Crittendon and Parks and Recreation. 
InterContinental Mark Hopkins
At the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, we shape our culture around being committed to the community, and reducing out impact on the environment. Our impact is a measurement used to gauge our overall business success. Our efforts include volunteer activities, awareness campaigns, and charitable fundraisers. In January of 2012 our colleagues volunteered at Grace Cathedral’s “Dinner with Grace” program to help prepare food for residential hotels in the Tenderloin community. This wonderful organization is committed to helping serve food to hungry families and individuals in our community. We have supported Project Open Hand throughout the year, holding fundraisers in February raising $491 for their cause, as well as sending volunteers from our staff in June and October to help prepare and serve food to the seriously ill and seniors in San Francisco. 
Omni San Francisco
We kicked off our winter coat drive, for One Warm Coat, with a fashion show! Our General Manager modeled and donated a one-piece, red snow suit. Her appeal resulted in associates finding 75 coats ready for a second life. With that success we opted to donate 65 scarves, hats and gloves as the temperature dropped again in December and Lutheran Social Services was again the recipient. Our associates also donned hair bonnets and plastic gloves three times to assist the San Francisco Food Bank in providing meals to those in need. We are now well qualified to bag rice, beans, and cereal and box vegetables. For the third year, ten associates power-walked along the Embarcadero in support of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, raising $1,468 for this important cause. 
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
The San Francisco Marriott Marquis prides itself on giving back to the community of San Francisco. As a principal sponsor of the San Francisco AIDS Walk, the Marquis donated $25,000 in sponsorship and had over 100 participants in the walk. Our commitment to give back to the community is one of our highest values. We participate in a gift program with Friends of the Elderly and the Salvation Army during the holiday season. The San Francisco Marriott Marquis also believes in investing in our local youth through the National Academies and with the Bridges from School to Work Program.

Innovation

Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
Using a master blend of technology and service, the Chancellor Hotel came up with its own Chancellor Hotel Smartphone App. Other hotels have mobile friendly sites for making reservations, viewing pictures of the hotel, etc. The Chancellor Hotel’s App does all that and more! eMarketer predicts that 29 million consumers will plan travel on the mobile Internet in 2012, a more than 50% increase over 2011 levels. They also forecast consumers booking travel on their mobile devices will nearly double to 15 million by 2012. The Chancellor Hotel is leading the way in using mobile technology to serve its guests and letting guests use mobile technology to be served.
Clift
In order to be more environmentally conscious, Clift has eliminated registration cards and amenity vouchers. Guests now check in with a credit card only. No papers for them to fill out or take with them. Even our third party credit card authorizations are electronic. Our Rooms Director has tasked the managers to go into the pertinent accounts and preset all routing to post to the appropriate accounts and agents collect data from guests checking in. To increase use of paperless processes, Clift went from 70% data capture (e-mail and physical address) to 90% in the first two months since we rolled it out. 
Grand Hyatt
We installed VingCard Elsafe technology in our guestrooms. This allows our door locks, safes, and thermostats to all be on the same infrastructure and “talk” to each other. The thermostat is on a sensor, so when the guest leaves the room, it knows to raise or lower the temperature to conserve energy. 
Hotel Nikko San Francisco
Hotel Nikko has enriched and educated guests with our efforts as the only San Francisco hotel to earn the US Energy Star Award eight years running, the Hotel Nikko takes their carbon footprint seriously. The Hotel Nikko’s initiative and implementation of several important energy saving practices over this past year have not only reduced its energy consumption but also received positive feedback from employees and guests alike, for being a positive example in the community. Hotel Nikko’s green programs were innovative before it was “IN” and the efforts continue to improve and show results each year.
InterContinental San Francisco*
The team at the InterContinental San Francisco carried out a green campaign with the direction of Harry Hobbs, Area Director of Engineering for the hotel and through this campaign produced a LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2011. The golden rule the hotel set out with was that we would not accept anything that compromised the look and feel of the hotel and potentially impact the experience of the guests. The hotel partnered with PG&E and the U.S. Department of Energy's DOE Gateway Program. The hotel long wanted to replace existing lighting with LEDs but had been unable to fin a new LED product of sufficient consistency or quality. The DOE and PEC experts selected the new lighting to meet the hotel's strict standards. 900 new 6.5 watt LED lamps were installed in the lobby and other public areas of the hotel. Having identified the best available LED technology, the hotel moved forward with the retrofitting of 3000 guest room lights with LEDs. The largest and most impactful energy-saving measure to date has been the installation of a water side economizer for the rooftop HVAC system. The economizer takes advantage of the cool San Francisco Weather to provide more efficient air conditioning with less need for chillers. The hotel partner with Zip Car to have a docking station for an electric proto Prisus Electric Hybrid. This car is being tested for Toyota and will soon be in full production. The hotel has achieved a trash diversion rate of 83%, closely approaching the 90% needed to be considered a zero waste stream hotel. In addition, the Hotel's ENERGY STAR rating has improved from 64 to 87, which in conjunction with LEED Gold, makes the InterContinental San Francisco one of the greenest large hotels in the nation. Harry gives enormous credit to his PG&E LodgingSavers for the success of this huge undertaking for the colleagues. Through the retro commissioning of the hotel guest room water usage was reduced by 22% and linen reuse has a 41% success rate. Electricity usage which is 100% off set by wind power, has contributed to an overall savings of $161,357.25 yearly. Totally yearly savings $217,600.74 - as the hotel continues to look for measures to help reduce the carbon foot print.