NATIONAL HARBOUR, Md. — Norman and Lorraine Bevilacqua have always put the customer first and have assisted stranded families with acquiring hotel rooms and meals during their time of need. Leading by example, Norm and Lorraine treat their employees like family and continuously push their team to serve guests with compassion and care. This is one reason why the Dryden, Ont., hoteliers won two prestigious awards from Best Western, the Heroic Hospitality Award and the Chairman Legacy Award.
The Bevilacquas embrace community and are heavily involved in local charities and events. For example, the hotel co-sponsors the George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation’s annual Soapbox Races. Further, the hotel and Bevilacqua family support the region’s youth hockey programs by volunteering and contributing annually.
Below is an excerpt from chairman Anthony Klok’s speech announcing Norm as the Chairman Legacy Award recipient for 2019:
Each year, this award is given to the individual who best represents our membership and organizational ideals regardless of District, years with the brand, or age. Our brand has been on an amazing journey. Throughout our time together today, we’ll hear about many of the highlights – including the impressive growth of Best Western’s brand portfolio, the modernization of our hotel offerings, and our record industry awards, just to name a few. It’s fitting that this year’s Chairman Legacy Award recipient is a member who has long been a part of our brand’s amazing journey – four decades to be exact.
I’m proud to announce this year’s Legacy Award recipient is Norm Bevilacqua. In 1974, Norm joined with a group of investors to break ground on the Best Western Motor Inn. In 2001, Norm, and his lovely wife Lorraine, became sole owners of the property. Norm and Lorraine made significant improvements to the hotel’s lobby, restaurant, guest rooms and meeting rooms, and even added an elevator – and helicopter pad! In 2009, the renovated property became the Best Western Plus Dryden Hotel and Conference Centre.
In 2015, Norm – one of the town’s top hoteliers – and his team of loyal employees celebrated the hotel’s 40th anniversary with a gala dinner that was attended by the Dryden Chamber of Commerce president, who offered the following words: “Any business that has tenure like this is an icon for the entire city. They continue to add to the community, renovate and make this a modern and fantastic facility.”
Norm is well known in his community not just as the owner of the Best Western Plus Dryden Hotel and Conference Centre, but for his support of local sports teams, schools and charities as well – including the George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation, which raises funds to enrich the lives of community youth living with physical and developmental disabilities.
For many years, he has also been a member of Skal International, an organization of tourism leaders promoting global tourism around the world, and he was elected president of Skal Canada in 2008. During his 45 years as a Best Western member, Norm took on the important job of governor, which he served as for over 20 years. And, in 2009, he received the Best Western All-Star Governor’s Award.
As Norm has been known to say: “We are retired people today, a teacher, and telephone man. We enjoy being in the business. It’s our life. We treasure the friendships we have made along the way.” Norm, I think I speak for everyone here who knows you – we too, treasure your friendship and dedication to this brand.