THE WINNERS' CIRCLE update Oct. 22, 2019

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Botanist Bar's Savage among World’s Best Bartenders

VANCOUVER, B.C.— Jeff Savage, head bartender at Botanist Bar, located inside the luxury Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, has been recognized among the world’s best bartenders, placing in an overall impressive second place at the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Finals. The recognition came at the esteemed finale held in Glasgow, Scotland, where fellow Fairmont bartender and tastemaker Bannie Kang (ANTI:DOTE) of Fairmont Singapore took the reins of World Class Bartender of the Year. Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year is the biggest cocktail competition on the planet that saw over thousands of bartenders from across six continents compete for a place in the finals.

Three Canadian Chateaux among Top 10 Trademarks

LAS VEGAS — Three Canadian Chateau hotels — Chateau Moncton, Chateau Saint John and Chateau Bedford — were among the top 10 hotels given awards at the recent Wyndham Hotel Group conference held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Trademark Collection by Wyndham awarded the “Trademark Top 10” based on guest satisfaction scores and engagement with the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program, rather than name an official “hotel of the year.” Chateau Moncton, owned by Christian Cyr, came out on top, and Cyr’s two other Trademark Hotels in Canada, Chateau Saint John and Chateau Bedford, also were named among the top ten Trademark hotels. 


Heather McCrory inaugural Castell winner

ATLANTA — Castell Project, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the careers of women professionals in the hospitality industry, has named Heather McCrory, Accor CEO of North & Central America, as the winner of its inaugural Castell Award.

The award honours a woman leader in the hospitality-investment arena and was presented to McCrory at The Lodging Conference 2019 held in Phoenix recently.

A seasoned professional with an extensive hospitality background spanning more than 30 years, McCrory joined Accor’s executive committee upon her appointmentas CEO, North & Central America, in April 2019. In this position, she’s responsible for the strategic direction of the global hospitality group in the region, with oversight of more than 115 hotels, 11 brands in 10 countries, 28,000 employees and more than $3-billion in revenue. She also serves as the executive sponsor for North & Central America for RiiSE, Accor’s international network to promote diversity.

McCrory leads numerous initiatives as part of the RiiSE program, including a research project to understand why women are opting out of leadership roles and a formal mentorship program for women within the organization who have the potential and desire to be a GM within the next three to five years.

“The work the Castell Project is doing to assist women in securing one in every three leadership seats in the hospitality industry is encouraging, but we still have a long way to go,” says McCrory. 

“Gender inclusivity is a personal and passionate goal of mine, both for Accor and the hospitality industry at large. While women make up more than 50 per cent of the hospitality workforce, we need to have more females in the boardroom. With organizations like the Castell Project in place, I’m confident we’ll one day meet our diversity goals. As numerous studies have proven, this benefits the industry and drives our collective performance.”

“The Castell Project received a wonderful roster of nominations describing deserving leaders and the impact they’re having on coworkers — female and male — and how they’re shifting the culture within their organizations,” says Peggy Berg, president of the Castell Project.

“Heather stood out as a powerful female making a difference in the industry. She understands wholeheartedly that, as part of an international hospitality company, a more diverse team is a better performing team. Heather is an inspiration to other women as they find their own paths to success.”

Johanne Belanger wins with Women of Inspiration

TORONTO — Johanne Belanger, vice-president, Field Marketing, U.S. & Canada at Marriott International, has been awarded the Global Influencer Award at the 2019 Women of Insipiration Gala, held recently in Toronto.

“Thank you Monika Kretschmer, Canadian Business Chicks and the esteemed panel of judges for selecting me as the recipient of the Global Influencer Award at the 2019 Women of Inspiration Gala in Toronto,” Belanger said on social media. “It is an honour to be recognized amongst this inspirational and accomplished group of women.”

Pomeroy Kananaskis wins for Best Hotel Team

Paula Scott, event team leader, with the award.

Paula Scott, event team leader, with the award.

KANANASKIS VILLAGE, Alta — The Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge was awarded “Best Hotel Team” by Hotel Management International at their annual Unlock the World Gala in Montreal. The gala celebrates the accomplishments of the hotel world and bridges the gap between industry professionals and corporate event planners from across the globe.


“This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team. We are incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this high recognition,” says Stephen Dodwell, Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge’s general manager.

Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge is a four-star resort that treats guests to the perfect combination of luxury resort amenities, the comforts of a Lodge and exciting outdoor adventure amidst rugged terrain and breathtaking views.

The resort offers 247 contemporary guest rooms (most of which include mountain views), and five food and beverage outlets serving world-class cuisine made with only the finest and freshest local ingredients.

Pomeroy Lodging LP owns and operates over 21 hotel properties across Alberta, British Columbia, and Alaska. The company develops and manages its own brands: Pomeroy Inn & Suites, Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre, Stonebridge; and also operates major franchise brands, such as Best Western Plus, and Holiday Inn Express. 

River Rock Casino Resort leads in Safety

RICHMOND, B.C. – River Rock Casino Resort is pleased to be one of the first hotels in Canada to introduce React Mobile, a safety solution for the hospitality industry.

“The safety and security of our team members and our guests is our number one priority,” stated James Fry, assistant general manager, Hotel Operations, River Rock. “While emergencies are extremely rare, there can never be an environment that is too safe for our team members and guests, so we are excited to integrate React Mobile into our already robust security programs.”

The React Mobile safety system provides a fob for hotel employees working in isolation. With the press of a button, team members signal for help if they feel threatened or need assistance. The fob pairs with an app on a smart phone enabling security to deploy resources to the exact location of the emergency within seconds of an alert, getting help to where it is needed fast.

River Rock is dedicated to exceeding industry standards in safety and security. In addition to the React Mobile safety system, River Rock features a 24-hour highly-trained security team as well as a state-of-the-art surveillance system.