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Winners Announced for SF Hotel Council 17th Annual Hotel Hero Awards 

7 December 2020 — San Francisco, CA: This past Friday, the Hotel Council of San Francisco ( presented its 17th Annual Hotel Hero Awards in a moving online event hosted by Emmy Award winner Liam Mayclem.

“Everyone who works in the hospitality industry, especially this last year, is a hero,” said Kevin Carroll, Hotel Council President and CEO. “These individuals and hotels represent the very best of our industry and serve as an inspiration for us all.”

Established in 2003, the Hotel Hero awards were created to pay tribute to the people who dedicate their lives to the hospitality industry. As the largest industry in San Francisco, hotels and tourism directly impact the success of many businesses throughout San Francisco, supporting over 105,000 jobs. Following is the list of this year’s honorees:

  • Community Spirit Award: The Omni San Francisco
    Given to a hotel or hotel company that contributes to the community. Contributions include volunteer efforts, donations, and giving back through various programs and organization.
  • Sustainability Award: The Argonaut Hotel
    Given to a hotel or hotel company committed to sustainability. This commitment can be proven through instituting green design and equipment, water conservation, local food sourcing and waste reduction programs.
  • Rising Star Award (hotel with 300 rooms or less): Ivana Mihjalovic:  Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf, Director of Rooms.
  • Rising Star Award (hotel with 301 or more rooms): Linda Samara: Omni San Francisco, Business Travel Manager.
    Given to an individual who has been in the industry for less than five years but demonstrates the potential to become a pivotal figure in the hospitality.
  • Unsung Hero (hotel with 300 rooms or less) Steven Marshall: Hotel Abri, Restaurant Manager.
  • Unsung Hero (hotel with 301 or more rooms) Carol Yan: Palace Hotel, Room Attendant.
    Given to someone who enables their hotel to enhance guest experiences. An unsung hero strives to improve customer service out of professionalism and dedication to true hospitality.
  • Beyond the Call of Duty Award (hotel 300 rooms or less) Carrie Li: The Orchard Hotel, Assistant Front Office Manager.
  • Beyond the Call of Duty Award (hotel 301 rooms or more) Jacqueline Ocasio: Park Central San Francisco, Front Office Manager.
    Given to an individual who demonstrates the willingness to go beyond the call of duty. At a minimum, the employee created an unforgettable experience for a guest or colleague.
  • Werner Lewin Lifetime Achievement Award (non-manager): Ana Duarte: The Westin St. Francis, Human Resources Coordinator.
    Given to an individual (non-manager) who has proven dedication and commitment to the hotel industry for over ten years.
  • Lifetime Achievement (Department Manager) Randy Saito: Hilton San Francisco Financial District, Director of Food and Beverage.
    Given to a department manager who has proven dedication and commitment to the hotel industry for over 15 years.
  • Bob Begley Lifetime Achievement Award: Tiff Schafer: Westin St. Francis, Senior Area Director of Human Resources.
    Given to an individual who is an executive leadership team member, general manager, vice president or regional manager. This person has proven dedication, leadership and commitment to the hotel industry for at least 15 years.

Presenting sponsor for this year’s event were Clearway Energy. Award sponsors were  the Bay Club, Big Bus, Clearway Energy, Recology, San Francisco Travel, Swinerton, Tito’s Vodka and United Airlines.  The Prize sponsor was Cintas. Supporting Sponsors included David Perry & Associates, Inc., PSAV, Tito’s Vodka and Young’s Market Company.

The Hotel Council of San Francisco is a non-profit membership-based organization advocating for the economic and social vitality of the hospitality industry in San Francisco. With a membership roster of over 200 hotels, allied members, and partner organizations, the Council is dedicated to protecting the San Francisco hospitality industry and connecting its members to support its growth and success.