10th Annual Hotel Hero Awards

March 14, 2012 | Westin St. Francis

Winners are noted with an asterisk (*).

Beyond the Call of Duty

Erica Goldblatt
Concierge, Clift

Rarely does a hotel have the special opportunity to give the gift of a last memory and wish to a child. So, when Erica Goldblatt learned that one of her guests was a very ill child experiencing San Francisco for the first and most likely the last time, she went beyond the call of duty to make the child’s visit to San Francisco extremely special. The boy had been diagnosed with Leukemia. Taking a Ferry Trip to Alcatraz was on the boy’s bucket list, but all tours were sold out. Through the diligent use of her channels, Erica managed to secure a trip to Alcatraz for the boy and his parents. Not stopping at the reservation, Erica also arranged to have the captain of the ferry invite the boy and his parents to steer the boat and sound the horn. This special memory would not have been possible if it were not for Erica’s amazing ability to make the best of a “turn around” opportunity.

Dun Ming Huang
Housekeeping, InterContinental San Francisco

Ming Huang consistently shines in the housekeeping department on any shift. In 2012, he responded to the highest number of service calls, a whopping 6,784 calls. On New Years Eve alone, he responded to 72 calls in 7 hours. Not only is Ming able to get things done quickly, he is always willing to help in any way that he can. When a guest recently requested that a physical adjustment be made to a soft mattress, the housekeeping team decided to provide the guest with a bed board to give the bed the extra firmness that the guest expected. Without skipping a beat, Ming located a bed board at a former affiliate hotel, and carried it six blocks without assistance. After the guest’s departure, Ming returned the bed board, walking it six blocks back up a very steep hill. In moments of chaos, Ming always finds a way to calm the situation and represent tranquility. 

James Hudson*
Doorman, Huntington Hotel and Nob Hill Spa

James was off duty when he came across a frequent hotel guest who was lost in S.F. Since the guest was not familiar with the area, James decided to lead her to the freeway, as she followed in her car. He later explained that he simply wanted to make sure that she was safe and on the right track. Recently, a hotel guest tipped James, handing him what she thought was a dollar bill. As she was leaving the hotel the next morning, James stopped the woman. He did not think that she had realized that she actually gave him a $50 bill and wanted to be sure to give it back to her. When a guest forgot a piece of luggage during check-out, James drove to the airport to personally hand the guests their luggage…with enough time for them to make their flight!

Joanna Husk
Concierge, Grand Hyatt

When a couple approached Joanna and asked where they should have dinner, Joanna recommended a favorite restaurant of hers on Belden Lane and made them a reservation. On the way to the restaurant, the guests were accosted and struck by a deranged person. Frightened and upset, the guests retreated back to the hotel and asked Joanna to cancel their reservation. Joanna did not want the guests to miss the opportunity to enjoy a delicious San Francisco meal. Without telling the guests, Joanna walked to the restaurant, ordered her favorite dishes, and personally delivered the dinner to the guests. Joanna does these things because she cares. Combining her extensive knowledge and love of the area, Joanna developed a complimentary walking tour of Union Square offered every Saturday throughout the Summer and Fall.

Tang Svetachinta
Bellperson, Omni San Francisco

Without any service experience, Tang walked through the Omni’s doors and made an immediate impression. Tang began as a busser in Bob’s Steak and Chop House, where his willingness to do anything to help his coworkers and guests made him a superstar. Soon, Tang was promoted to bell person. Tang keeps his iPhone and iPad at the ready and with a touch can provide information on local restaurants, MUNI schedules, museum exhibits, and famous destinations. Because he never wants guests to be inconvenienced, he made his own “tool belt” complete with maps, door stops, pens and anything else guest could possibly need. Of his own accord, tang created a training checklist for the Night Bellman and when he trains a new associate, he exhibits a warmth and maturity which welcomes them into the family.

Rising Star

Jennifer Brown
Food and Beverage Supervisor, Hotel Vitale

Jennifer began her JdV career in 2010 as an On-Call Banquet Server. By July 2011 she was promoted to the JdV flagship restaurant as a Cocktail Server. Jennifer was soon appointed as F&B Cultural Ambassador and months later was promoted to Restaurant Supervisor. Eager to learn, she has attended and is an active participant at many JdV University classes – having taken 5 classes since being promoted and is registered to complete management academy quickly. By promoting and participating in all hotel staff activities, Jennifer keeps F&B “linked” to the hotel. She has received 6 “Attitude of Gratitude” recognition awards – and has given out more than she has received! She is always ready and willing to participate in volunteer opportunities.

Jessica Gaskin*
Assistant Front Office Manager, Omni San Francisco

Jessica finds success in taking on every assignment as a learning opportunity for herself and for those who will come after her. As a rooms division management trainee, she worked every front office shift, mastered the nuances of each and passed on her knowledge to four managers and six associates who followed her. Jessica’s commitment to her team and guests is unwavering. After hearing of a child’s missing blanket, she once stayed hours after her shift to assist in searching through seventeen bins of dirty laundry until it was found. She has great analytical and research skills. Her prospects for the future have been recognized by the corporate office as she She was selected to attend Omni’s Introduction to Management program and has been chosen for a month long task force assignment at Omni’s newest resort. 

Elva Li
Housekeeping Supervisor, Handlery Union Square Hotel

Elva was brought aboard as a Housekeeping Office Coordinator. During two periods of absence by the Executive Housekeeper, Elva took the reins of the department and maintained service level standards. During the largest event of the year, Elva was in charge of converting two entire floors from guest rooms to meeting rooms. The client stated that this year’s event was the best ever. Elva tries to be a positive role model for immigrants to this country who cannot speak English. Elva strives to be one of the best in the San Francisco hospitality industry because she believes that San Francisco is the greatest tourist destination in the world and she wants to be a great ambassador for the city.

Kelly Merritt
Sales Manager, Hotel Nikko

Upon returning from University “down under”, Kelly volunteered with a Conservation Foundation where she spent months boosting awareness of sustainable practices and primary global concerns. Kelly discovered her passion for Sales and Event Planning. Kelly began her hospitality career as a Sales Coordinator for Hyatt Hotels. Upon learning of Kelly’s reputation, the Hotel Nikko created a position for her as an Executive Meeting Manager. After only one year, based on her achievements in sales, Kelly was promoted to Sales Manager, overseeing the large groups in the mid-west. Not only is she a star within the hospitality industry, Kelly is prominent throughout the local community where she has made an impact with her philanthropic style. Kelly was recently awarded the Steven Porter Award by CH&LA for her superior professional dedication and leadership.

Dimitar Stanev
Hotel Manager, Kensington Park and Steinhart Hotel

Becoming a new staff member of Personality Hotels in 2008, with the acquisition of Hotel Vertigo, Dimitar, who was a guest services agent, quickly showed great initiative by assisting with ownership transitional tasks, taking over staff scheduling duties for his supervisor, assisting with coordination activities for the hotel’s renovation and took on manager on duty assignments in the absence of his supervisors. He did all of this without additional compensation and never sought additional recognition for his extra efforts. He has come along very quickly and effectively for someone who has been in America for only four years. Dimitar was promoted to oversee the operations of the Kensington Park Hotel and improved its Trip Advisor rankings to top 30 of all SF Hotels. For these reasons, Dimitar was voted Manager of the Year for Personality Hotels in 2012.

Unsung Hero

Gizachew Benti
Room Service Server, Hotel Nikko
Born in communist Ethiopia, Giz was educated in the Soviet Union. Giz started at the Hotel Nikko as a Dishwasher, transferred to Busser, then was promoted to a Room Service Server and has been in that position over two decades. In twenty-three years, Giz has never called in sick! When a family visiting from Saudi Arabia met Giz, they asked if he would personally prepare their food. They explained that they were Muslim with strict dietary needs and were worried that their food would be prepared around pork. Giz conveyed this to the kitchen and personally watched the cook prepare each dish. He then delivered the food to the guests, reassuring them that it was acceptable for them to eat. Without all of his “behind the scenes” work such as this, the department’s Employee Satisfaction scores would not have been able to reach an all-time high of 93%!

Nai-Bang Li
Overnight Housekeeping Person, Omni San Francisco
As a member of Omni’s opening team, Nai-Bang has been a tremendous asset to Omni for eleven years. For years, the hotel did not have a night manager and Nai-Bang filled the gap. He created timetables of tasks and priorities and ensured that his managers were aware of necessary projects. He created a weekly deep-cleaning schedule by dividing the lobby into quadrants. The Director of Housekeeping has stated that “Nai-Bang is loved by everyone in the department. His favorite answer is ‘No problem” no matter how difficult the task”. The Housekeeping Department performs at such high levels in large part because of Nai-Bang’s diligence. The hotel went nine years without a renovation, which would not have been possible without associates like Nai-Bang.

Fabio Pereira
Uniformed Services - Bell Attendant, InterContinental San Francisco
Whether it is chasing a would-be purse-snatcher a full city block before tackling the thief to the ground and stopping him in his tracks, or grabbing a fire extinguisher just in time to put out a fire on the hotel’s loading dock, Fabio saves the day on a regular basis. His heroics are often subtle in nature ranging from everyday gallantry of opening doors for guests or unassuming humility in accepting praise for an innovative idea. When an iPad was left behind and still unclaimed several months later, it was gifted to Fabio – per hotel policy. Fabio decided that the item was too valuable. He figured out how to contact the original owner, and then spent his own money to mail the item back to the guest. Fabio’s generous nature and heroic character knows no limits.

Teresa Picazo
Pantry Cook, Hilton San Francisco Union Square
After 600,000 salads, 450,000 sandwiches and nearly 300,000 prepared desserts, Teresa continues to insure that each lettuce leaf and tomato slice is pristine and properly placed and each fruit salad a visual delight. An immigrant mother with three small children when she began working at the Hilton, her job gave her the opportunity to put her children through private schooling. Without complaints, drama or issues, her life circumstances are left at the door each day as she enters her own corner of the hospitality world. Her generosity and kindness was returned in full measure by the outpouring of support by her co-workers a few months ago, when her husband died after a very prolonged illness. Teresa is a sure and steady mentor to her co-workers, with the consistency, artistry, and craft to delight the customer and the model behavior that influences colleagues and lets a manager breathe a little easier.

Jane Tan*
Housekeeper, Marriott Marquis
Affectionately referred to by all as “Momma Jane”, she exemplifies Mr. Marriott’s belief that if we take care of each other we will be better able to take care of our guests. Even though her job does not require her to take on a supervisory capacity, for the past 10 years Jane has trained new housekeeping associates. An immigrant from China, Jane spoke no English when she moved to the US and had no formal training in housekeeping. When a fellow houseman was in danger of losing his job due to frequent tardiness, Jane discovered that the man had immigrated to the United States like herself and he was missing his family. Jane introduced him to others who spoke his language and shared with him some of the things that helped motivate her when she had similar struggles. Today, the houseman is a great associate, and thanks Momma Jane for changing his life.

Lifetime Achievement - Operations

Simon Jinparn*
Receiving Agent, Hotel Nikko

Simon is in charge of every item that is received at the Hotel Nikko. He carefully inspects each delivery and as a result, vendors only send the highest quality items. One time, he noticed that a shipment of chicken looked short. He helped security investigate and found that an intruder had stolen part of the shipment. On another occasion, Simon helped save the life of an employee at Enterprise Rental Car, located in the hotel. Simon noticed the man collapse as he was led past the dock. Simon immediately went to the man’s aid, contacted 911, and stayed with the man until help arrived. Simon has also saved the hotel hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll. Because of his expertise the hotel has run without a Director of Purchasing for 6 years and does not see the need to add one. As he approaches his 43rd year in the industry, Simon shows no signs of slowing down. Rather he challenges everyone to rise to his level. 
Miranda Lin
Room Service Service, Marriott Marquis

Miranda is the dream-come-true of any manager. During a recent department meeting, Miranda showed initiative by taking the feedback gathered from the meeting and proposing detailed side work duties. Once this was implemented, it ensured that everyone would be held accountable and that they all would have the equipment and supplies needed to complete their work. When a couple was recently celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary, Miranda was invited to celebrate with them and was introduced to their family and friends. Whether it is a single order for a pot of coffee, or a complex hospitality function, Miranda gives it her all. When asked why she has stayed in the same department for twenty years, Miranda explains that if she has twenty orders in a night, she has twenty opportunities to connect with people and make them smile.
  Theophilus McKinney
Front Desk Host, Hotel Carlton

Theo is the heart of the front office and has worked at the Hotel Carlton since 1992. He has an incredible passion for his work and is so enthusiastic when it comes to sharing his immense knowledge about San Francisco with guests, that he has taught himself six different languages (Italian, Japanese, German, French, Spanish and English, with Chinese on his list to conquer next) so that he will be able to communicate with them. Theo has helped the hotel by implementing amenity cards that say “welcome” in more than 20 different languages, updating the lobby display of holidays around the world every 2 weeks, creating hand-made hotel souvenirs for guests, and purchasing blow up globes to present to children upon check-in. He even volunteers to play the piano five days a week during the wine reception. In all, Theo spreads joy among others and inspires many people to do their best.
Debora Tjandra
Loyalty Ambassador, Omni San Francisco

Debora is the face and voice of the Select Guest Program, ensuring that every whim is fulfilled and that every stay is perfection. Debora is so dedicated to her return guests that she literally has dozens of people who will only reserve through her. Last year, Debora was selected to help the corporate team re-design the Select Guest program and write the training manuals for all Loyalty Ambassadors. Again, selected as a peak performer, Debora was instrumental in launching the Global Hotel Alliance Discovery Program, a loyalty program for all GHA affiliated hotels world-wide. Debora’s commitment to the guest experience is her greatest contribution to the industry and she has gained the respect and admiration of many throughout her twenty-one years of service.
John Wood
Concierge, Handlery Union Square Hotel

John receives numerous guest comment cards about his superior service and knowledge of San Francisco. On one occasion, a guest needed to go to the hospital because she feared she was having a heart attack. However, she did not want to be taken in an ambulance. John drove the guest to St. Francis Memorial Hospital and waited until he learned that the guest was to have emergency by-pass surgery. John left the hospital and notified the guest’s family of the situation. He later coordinated the family’s travel arrangements for their stay in San Francisco. Over John’s 38 year career in the San Francisco hospitality industry, he has been exceeding guests’ expectations, assuring that a stay in San Francisco is remarkable and memorable. John has been an active member of both the Northern California Concierge Association and Les Clefs D’or USA for the past 12 years to both expand his knowledge and help inspire those just beginning their career in the San Francisco Hospitality Industry.

Lifetime Achievement - Department Manager

John Bernier
Director of Human Resources, Hilton San Francisco Union Square

When John arrived at the Hilton in 2008, the economy just nose-dived along with occupancy rates. John remained the cheerleader for the hotel, devising ice-breakers at management department meetings and infusing humor and goodwill. On one occasion, an employee who had been in remission with Leukemia-Lymphoma had a reoccurrence of the disease. John spent many hours getting his disability benefits and was in frequent contact. When the employee did not return phone calls, John went to his home, found him in extreme distress and too weak to walk or speak. John immediately arranged for his transfer to hospital. Throughout his 30 year career, John has mentored numerous junior associates up through the ranks. He is a strong advocate for the environmental sustainability and community programs that have earned his property numerous awards. 
Jose Castrillo
Director of Housekeeping, Palace Hotel

During the past 22 years, Jose has taught employees and colleagues alike, the art of customer service. Perhaps one of his greatest strengths is his willingness to seek out new managers and take them under his wing. His passion for development has helped numerous managers expand in their roles and careers, and he truly embodies the role model that every manager should seek to emulate. When he accepted the position as Director of Housekeeping, he found himself in a department that was more multi-cultural than most others in the hotel. Joe celebrates this diversity with his team by recognizing different holidays and learning bits of each language represented in his department. It is his dedication and good teaching that will continue to impact the hospitality industry for many years to come.
Bernd Liebergesell*
Executive Chef, Westin St. Francis

Chef Bernd started hotel school at the age of 14 in Kassel, Germany. At 16, he began a culinary apprenticeship program in a small boutique hotel, 200 miles away from home. The hotel offered him room and board and he worked split shifts from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., six days a week for three grueling years. The passion and determination he showed as a young man follows him today as he leads his food and beverage tem. Bernd is known for his artistic cuisine, and has designed menus for royalty, dignitaries and celebrities alike – including the Emperor of Japan, Former President Clinton and the current President Obama. Chef Bernd has truly dedicated his entire life to pursuing his career goal – to be the Executive Chef/Food and Beverage Director of the Westin St. Francis.
Oliva Rodriguez
Executive Housekeeper, Chancellor Hotel

Olivia provides outstanding customer service because she cares and truly wants to please the guest. When a guest asks for bathroom accessories added to their room or the furniture modified, she makes it happen – even if she has to go out and get it herself. She has taken guests from room to room to lie down on a bed to find one they liked. Then, she has switched beds while they were out rather than make the guest move rooms. She has donated equipment, time and materials to a job training program and mentors High School students and interns interested in joining the hospitality industry. In her 32 years at the Chancellor Hotel, Olivia has made a significant impact on the Hospitality Industry by participating in events and activities that impact the industry as a whole.
Abed Shalhout
Food and Beverage Manager, Clift
Originally from Palestine, Abed came to San Francisco in 1969 and began working at the Clift Hotel in 1971. Abed remains in his post today in the Velvet Room as one of the hotels most admired managers, respected for his focus on gracious, personal and attentive guest service. When asked why he loves his job so much and how he measures his worth each day, Abed points to the uniqueness of the hotel and the fact that each day he is privileged to lead his team to “pull together as a family”. As one employee stated on a recent Employee Engagement Survey, “I want to thank Abed Shalhout for genuinely promoting a positive work environment at CLIFT and truly exemplifying company values. He directly contributes to my work experience and makes the CLIFT a better place”.

Lifetime Achievement - Hotel Executive

Jon Kimball
General Manager and Area Managing Director, Westin St. Francis

Jon’s natural ability to lead others is what has landed him key assignments in hotels clear across the United States. There are few leaders who can inspire, motivate and execute like Jon Kimball. He has an incredible ability to share with associates and sales teams alike the exact experience he is trying to create for the customer. Jon is an integral part of the San Francisco hospitality community, through not only his industry leadership roles, but the many and varied community service projects he has led on behalf of Starwood. He and his team are always focused on “doing the right thing” to create a stronger, more desirable community in which to live and work. The entire Westin St. Francis team looks to Job for continuous inspiration and focus. He always brings an upbeat energy, infecting everyone around him with enthusiasm. 
Tom Klein*
Regional Vice President and General Manager, The Fairmont

“Select, lead, train and recognize,” is Klein’s personal mission statement for 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. 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.
Yvonne Lembi-Detert
CEO & President, Personality Hotels

Yvonne has dedicated her entire career to the hospitality industry. At the age of 22, just after graduating from San Francisco State University, Yvonne opened San Francisco’s first boutique hotel, Hotel Union Square. To this day, Yvonne continues to oversee the operations, marketing and branding for both hotel Union Square and the umbrella company, Personality Hotels. Yvonne has grown Personality Hotels into a successful and progressive collection of 4 boutique hotels and started another company – Engage Hospitality. Yvonne can be seen at her properties daily interacting with guests and ensuring that their experience exceeded their expectations. Yvonne regularly visits her hotels for staff feedback – from the housekeepers to the front desk. Yvonne knows that each personality makes the company a success and has shown her team that through diligence, perseverance, creativity, hard work and honesty, anyone can be a success!
David Nadelman
General Manager, Grand Hyatt

David began his career in the hospitality industry 39 years ago and has been part of the Hyatt family for more than 32 of those years. With refined leadership and business skills, he leads by example and has created a culture of exceptional customer service and employee engagement. David mentors others to achieve success and provides associates with all the tools to lead guest service initiatives and deliver outstanding customer service. On behalf of Hyatt Hotels, David volunteers with many charitable organizations. Each year, he rides in the MS Bike Ride in honor of a hotel associate who lives with the effects of Multiple Sclerosis. David even repels down the side of the Grand Hyatt hotel to raise funds for the Special Olympics. His compassion and leadership qualities in both his personal and professional dedication are an inspiration both inside and outside of the hotel.
Anna Marie Presutti
Vice President and General Manager, Hotel Nikko

As the first female ever to be appointed for Japan Hotel Company JHC/Nikko Hotels International, Anna Marie has embraced her role and lead with spunk and vigor. When she assumed the role of VP & GM, the hotel’s employee overall satisfaction was at 77%. This number has increased year after year, even during the recession with overall scores of 93% in 2009 and 95% in 2010. In 2010-2012, the Business Times selected the hotel as a Best Place to Work in the Bay Area. Anna Marie spends time coaching young professional women on her frequent trips to Japan. As a result, young Japanese professionals now seek Anna Marie out as a personal mentor, as they see a much brighter future for themselves because of Anna Marie’s inspiration and willingness to share with them her recipe for success.

Community Spirit

Fairmont San Francisco
Since 1907, the Fairmont San Francisco has upheld the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand-wide commitment to making a positive impact in the community. Hotel employees have made a significant impact across a variety of community service platforms annually, including green initiatives, such as California Coastal Cleanup Day, Presidio Cleanup Day, Muir Woods Earth Day Cleanup, and education for schools and culinary groups through the hotel’s beehives. The hotel has also participated in local efforts like the SF AIDS Walk and Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk. Inspired by General Manager Tom Klein, the hotel led the entire San Francisco Hospitality Industry in a “Million Dollar Mission” campaign to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. While the Fairmont was one of many hotels participating in the MDM, its efforts were directly responsible for a large percentage of the nearly $400,000 raised, and will serve as a best-practice model for future industry and community efforts.
Hotel Nikko*
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, youth, adults, seniors, veterans, domestic violence victims, programs for the chemically dependent, AIDS patients, the mentally disables, several homeless shelters, transitional housing centers, rehabilitative centers and a variety of programming on a monthly basis. Hotel Nikko employees have dedicated over 800 hours interacting with the homeless and preparing hygiene kits, and over 300 hours helping homeless children sleep better ant night. In total, Hotel Nikko employees raise nearly $50,000 dollars in company time that is donated by the hotel. Through the continued efforts of donating money, clothing, food, and time, the Hotel Nikko practices what it means to be a good community partner, neighbor and provider. 
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
As part of the Hotel Council of San Francisco’s Million Dollar Mission Campaign, the Hyatt Regency spearheaded the Bay Area Hyatt’s collective efforts with “cocktails for a cure”, their simultaneous happy hour fund raisers featuring employee-created specialty cocktails. Combined with employee bake sales, “casual for a cause” days, and other fundraisers, the Hyatt raided over $19,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This year, in addition to hosting several children in the Hyatt’s companywide partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Hyatt Regency also spearheaded the 6th Annual Bay Area Swing For Wishes Golf Tournament. The event raised over $90,000 for children living with life-threatening medical conditions in Northern California. For the first time ever, 20 members of HyPRIDE (Hyatt’s national employee network group that supports GLBT employees) participated in the Pride Parade. The Hyatt Regency also participates in neighborhood cleanups, demonstrating how much they care for the environment and the community. 
InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Ever challenging the employees to build on their commitment to the community, the Mark Hopkins contributed more in 2012 than ever before, ultimately contributing countless hours and a total of $69,840 to local causes in need. A candy gram sale was held to collect donations totaling $868 for the SPCA. 90 children’s books were collected for Project Night Night. Recognizing Earth Hour, the hotel shut down all non-essential lighting and equipment and held an educational reception for their colleagues. Clothing was donated to “Out of the Closet Thrift Shop”, whose revenues provide medical care for those with HIV/AIDS. The hotel participated in the Hotel Council Million Dollar Mission, and also managed to collect over $54,000 dollars in two months for LLS. Over $3,000 in donations was collected for the IHG Shelter in a Storm Program to provide aid to communities suffering from disasters. The InterContinental Mark Hopkins helped thru Project Open Hand, the YMCA Bay Area Kids Camp, Meals on Wheels, and many other organizations focused on helping the community.
Westin St. Francis
By establishing their 2012 goal of monthly community service projects, Westin St. Francis associates had a chance to feel and give value. Some of the ways the Westin St. Francis gave back to the community include: Buying candy grams to benefit the American Heart Association, holding a bake sale for Breast Cancer Research, donating clothing and shoes for Wardrobe for Opportunity and Soles4Souls, filling 20 backpacks with school supplies for Sleeptrain Foster Kids Program, raising $2,300 for the Million Dollar Mission, donatin $150 to help shelter women with Casa de las Madres, participating in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, donating nearly $500 in a Spare Change Drive for Hurricane Sandy Relief, giving clothing and food to Newborns in Need through the Gabriel Project, and giving food and gifts to those who needed them over the holidays. The Westin St. Francis realizes that the vitality of their business is directly linked to the vitality of the community. Therefore, they strive to maintain and enrich the community around them. With focus, the Westin St. Francis believes they can impact and improve the lives of their neighbors.

Innovation

Casa Madrona Hotel And Spa
A 2012 CH&LA Star of the Industry winner in the “Good Earthkeeping” category, and member of the Green Key Global (with 4 keys), the “Green” Hotels Association, and a 2012 recipient of the Cool California Small Business Award, Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa has implemented many sustainable business initiatives, including the following: renovation - dual flush toilets, occupancy sensors in bathrooms, low VOC paints, environmentally friendly cleaning products, bathroom tissue and facial tissue are made of biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable sugarcane fiber, several employees carpool to work, local artist are featured in contemporary hallways, in the process of streamlining energy and utility bills and lowering gas consumption.
Galleria Park Hotel
Making the most of its distinguished location between the Union Square and Financial District, Galleria Park Hotel has launched “GPS – Galleria Park Suggests” for guests looking to gain insights and experiences not found in the standard travel guidebook. GPS is an inside source of information and tips that help guests experience the unique San Francisco neighborhood like a local. In addition, to experience the city from a unique perspective of the historic buildings of San Francisco’s Financial District, the hotel offers a San Francisco architecture tour for their guests. The two-hour walking tour includes not only an introduction to some of San Francisco’s most famous downtown buildings, but also hard to find rooftop gardens, unique open spaces and historic landmarks. 
Grand Hyatt San Francisco*
In 2012, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco partnered with Stanford’s Design School to learn and implement Design Thinking in the Hotel. Associates start by developing empathy for the people they design for, uncovering real human needs they want to address. They then iterate many times over, to develop an unexpected range of possible solutions. Rough prototypes are then tested with the guests. The Grand Hyatt has found that this leads to real solutions and improved guest satisfaction. Using this process throughout 2012 has led to many discoveries and innovations within the hotel, including some of the following: friction free Wi-Fi, lobby oasis, women’s preferences, front desk of the future, mobile concierge, Hyatt Food Truck, and a Hydration Station. 
Hotel Nikko San Francisco
The Hotel Nikko has such a reputation for innovation and energy savings, that ABC Channel 7 News contacted the hotel to highlight many of their programs on the evening news. The Hotel Nikko is the only SF hotel to earn the US Energy Star Award eight years running. Many special projects and trial programs have been implemented at the Nikko in an effort to be “more green”. 2,270 incandescent bulbs were replaced with energy efficient bulbs. CFL Lamps were installed in the lobby and more than 64 exterior lights were replaced with energy saving CFL’s. All kitchen hoods have been replaced using a special hood that requires less electricity and are more efficient for kitchen use. The results of the Nikko’s efforts have been an energy savings of over 50%. To conserve resources and help others in the community, the Nikko donates linens and towels, furniture, and bath amenities to those in need. The Nikki had an 80% diversion rate – the highest in the city! The Nikko’s innovative green programs continue to improve and show better results each year. 
Westin St. Francis
Many efforts have been made to conserve energy at the Westin St. Francis. Plate exchangers have been installed to reuse steam condensation which has allowed the hotel to save thousands of dollars on their steam bill. Mechanical timers were recently installed on all air handlers which assisted in controlling their run time. Thousands of incandescent and florescent lamps have been replaced with LEDs – a large task that was successfully completed in every one of the hotel’s 1,195 rooms. The installation of a carbon monoxide sensor has saved the hotel 85% on their energy use. Water usage has been reduced by 50% by installing flow aerators on all guest room faucets. In addition, the hotel continues to work on an elevator modernization project in an effort to support their sustainable and ethical business practices. The project will keep the historic feel of the hotel, while increasing their conservation of the environment.