THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE update Nov. 24, 2020

Colleen Kendall wins Choice Leader of the Year

Colleen Kendall general manager of Comfort Inn Halifax, N.S. won Leader of the Year.

TORONTO — Choice Hotels Canada recently announced the national winners of its annual prestigious APEX Awards (Awards for Property Excellence). In the midst of a worldwide pandemic and its devastating effects on the industry, these 11 properties from across the country continued to stand out as top performers. The awards recognize stellar performance, ongoing commitment to guest service and operational excellence.

“This year has been unprecedented for the hospitality industry but despite the pandemic, our properties have continued to persevere and excel,” says Brian Leon, president, Choice Hotels Canada. “Because of everything going on in the world, we feel it’s more important than ever to applaud our top performers, who continue to raise standards in hospitality excellence through these most difficult times.”

The 2020 national APEX winners include:

  • Highest Guest Satisfaction (Top LTR): Rodeway Inn, Pikogan, Que.

This award recognizes the property that achieved the highest Likelihood to Recommend (LTR) score in Choice Hotels’ guest survey results over the last year.

  • Highest Choice Privileges Elite Recognition: Comfort Inn, Sturgeon Falls, Ont.

This award recognizes the property that has achieved the highest Elite Recognition score within Choice Hotel’s guest survey over the last year.

  • Highest Choice Privileges Enroller Rate: Comfort Inn Airport West, Mississauga, Ont.

This award recognizes the property that has achieved the highest Choice Privileges conversion rate. The Choice Privileges conversion rate is calculated based on the total possible enrollments per available room in the last year. This property has won this distinction two years in a row.

  • Sales Excellence Award: Lisa Leroy, Comfort Inn & Suites, Airdrie, Alta.

This national award recognizes an individual who demonstrated outstanding sales efforts. The winner will have been quick to respond to local opportunities or those from Choice to capture incremental room nights, leverage tools and resources as well as engage with Global Sales Canada.

  • Renovation of the Year Award: Quality Suites, Whitby, Ont.

This award recognizes achievements in outstanding on-brand renovations that drove guest satisfaction increases.

  • Leader of the Year Award: Colleen Kendall, Comfort Inn, Halifax, N.S.

This peer-based award recognizes an individual, selected by the Choice Canada Franchise Advisory Board (CCFAB), whose achievements include outstanding operational practices or team building.

  • Developer of the Year Award: Harinder Brar, whose current projects under development in Ontario include the Quality Inn & Suites in Thunder Bay, Comfort Inn & Suites in Bradford, Comfort Inn & Suites in Cochrane, and the Comfort Inn & Suites in Carleton Place. 
  • Best New Entry – New Build Mid-Market Brands: Comfort Inn & Suites, Goderich, ON
  • Best New Entry – Conversion Mid-Market Brands: Quality Inn Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC
  • Best New Entry – Economy Brands: Rodeway Inn, Edson, AB
  • Best New Entry – Ascend Hotel Collection: Le Noranda Hotel & Spa, Rouyn-Noranda, QC

Toronto Star Readers’ Choice hotel winners

The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington, Ont.

TORONTO — The Toronto Star has announced its 2020 Readers’ Choice winners in the Hotel/Motel category. They are:

  • Diamond Winner — Courtyard by Marriott Burlington
  • Platinum Winner — Hotel Fairmont Royal York
  • Gold Winner — Blue Mountain Resort
  • Gold Winner: The Westin Harbour Castle Hotel

Philip Mondor wins Ryerson HTM award

Philip Mondor, president and CEO of Tourism HR Canada, is the winner of Ryerson HTM’s 2020 Industry Award. “We would like to recognize Philip Mondor as an industry leader, promoting the sector to help build a world-leading tourism workforce, in addition to his contributions to the school as a member of our Advisory Council, and as a guest speaker in classes and student-run conferences,” said Fredéric Dimanche, director of Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

For more than 30 years, Mondor has worked on standards-setting projects, certification programs, and accreditation programs with labour market stakeholders across Canada and abroad including foreign governments, pan-global organizations, Canadian and non-Canadian businesses, and various education and training bodies. His work spans over 15 industrial sectors and in 11 countries, with most of his career focused on the tourism industry.

During his tenure with Tourism HR Canada, Mondor has established policies and quality procedures for the Council’s 28 certification programs and 60+ national and international occupational standards. Prior to taking on the role as president and CEO, he was responsible for the development and implementation of well over 400 programs in two languages and made available in various formats and delivery vehicles across Canada. In this role, Philip fostered the development of all commercial activities in the organization, directed the research and foreign credential recognition initiatives, lead all activities concerning occupational analysis/standards and the training/curriculum and professional designation programs. Philip developed the policy on these areas and fostered strategic partnerships with business, governments and other stakeholders’ groups.

Mondor is an industry representative to the Deputy Minister’s Advisory Council, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. He is an advisory member of the Labour Market Information Council, the Future Skills Centre Research Advisory Board, and the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University.

First Bill Pallett Memorial Award

Image of HTM student Linh Nguyen holding a paper that says “Thank you”.

The Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is proud to honour Bill Pallett, friend, colleague, and mentor of the program through the first distribution of the Bill Pallett Memorial Award. 

Bill was an alumnus of Ryerson University. Upon graduation, he launched his career through different roles in the industry, eventually leading him to become the senior vice president at Delta Hotels for 25 years. He was a big supporter of Ryerson HTM and left an impactful legacy in the industry.  

Bill’s partner, Charlie Nucifora, attended the Awards Celebration to see HTM Staff and Faculty, and Bill Pallett Memorial Award recipient, Linh Nguyen.  

Bill’s accomplishments, impact on HTM Ryerson, and the hospitality and tourism industry will be remembered by everyone. His legacy continues to live on with this memorial award.

Fogo Island Inn Shed an architectural winner

Fogo Island Inn Shed. Photo: Bent Rene Synnevåg.

The Fogo Island Inn Shed, designed by Todd Saunders, is the Gold winner of the World Architecture News (WAN) Awards in the leisure category.

Hilton recognized for sustainability

MCLEAN, Va. — Hilton has been named the global industry leader in sustainability for the second consecutive year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the most prestigious ranking for corporate responsibility and sustainability performance. As the industry leader in Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines, the company earned top scores across the assessment’s three key areas including governance & economic, environmental and social performance. This marks the fourth consecutive year Hilton has been recognized for sustainability leadership through inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and North America Index. 

“In a year where the hospitality industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we have stayed true to our founder’s noble premise that travel can make the world a better place,” said Kate Mikesell, vice president, global corporate responsibility, Hilton. “We believe the need for corporate responsibility leadership is more critical now than ever before, and we are proud to be recognized by DJSI for our efforts to redefine sustainable travel and tourism.” 

As a key component of recovery from the global crisis, Hilton has reaffirmed the company’s commitment to its bold Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact. These goals, which were established in 2018, align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and drive Hilton’s positive impact through its operations, supply chain, and communities. Hilton is dedicated to fighting climate change and is proud to have been the first major hotel brand to set science-based carbon reduction targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.  

This year, Hilton’s efforts have included a focus on helping communities recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s efforts included partnering with American Express to donate up to 1 million hotel room nights to frontline medical workers, working with food donation to open up hotel kitchens to feed those in need, and creating new virtual volunteer opportunities for its Team Members. Along with Hilton’s rapid response to the global pandemic, the Hilton Effect Foundation recently announced its 2020 grants which support organizations around the world dedicated to helping vulnerable communities recover from COVID-19. Through these grants and other donations, the Foundation has invested more than $1 million to addressing the pandemic.

Inn at Laurel Point B.C.’s only carbon neutral hotel

As the first and only carbon neutral hotel in British Columbia, Canada, the multi award-winning Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria is a stunning property that goes all in on its sustainability efforts. The hotel uses hydrothermal technology to cool rooms with ocean water, keeps more than three quarters of its waste out of landfills, has significantly reduced electricity and water usage, and offsets its remaining carbon footprint through local, natural investments.

The hotel’s sustainability evolution began 13 years ago, with Reverend Canon Ian Powell, the property’s managing director, who formalized the hotel’s environmental responsibility. Inn at Laurel Point partnered with Synergy Enterprises, a local firm in Victoria to develop a strategy to become BC’s first and only carbon neutral hotel. 

The hotel’s major green initiatives include the ocean cooling system that has been used to ventilate rooms for 30 years, long before being green was considered cool. “The marine cooling system is actually a system of pumps that goes out into the ocean and pumps cool ocean air into the hotel. It goes through 114 heat pumps into the property and cools the building down throughout the summer, so we have a very efficient way to cool the building,” Brooke Harris told writer Lavanya Sunkara in an article for Forbes Magazine.  To read the article, click here.