California Hotel & Lodging Association Announces USA TODAY Stars of the Industry Award Winners

CH&LA Stars of the Industry Awards

San Francisco, CA - The California Hotel & Lodging Association announced their 2012 Stars of the Industry award winners yesterday at the W San Francisco in San Francisco, CA. The Stars of the Industry awards, presented by USA TODAY, were given out under four property and six individual categories, including a brand new category for this year, the HD Supply Housekeeping award. This new award recognizes a non-management housekeeping staff member for their outstanding efforts and contributions to their hotel’s housekeeping operations. Also new this year was the Student Member and Student Chapter of the Year awards.

This year’s winners were as follows:

HD Supply Housekeeping Award: 
Fernando Salinas, Housekeeping Supervisor – The Westin Verasa, Napa 
Carmen Perez, Laundry Supervisor – Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, La Jolla

Lodging Employee of the Year: 
Nichole Phillips, Chef – Dunbar House, 1880, Murphys 
Hortencia Renteria, Public Areas Attendant – Andaz San Diego, San Diego 
Jim Catlett, Golf Starter – Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai

Manager of the Year: 
Wilfredo Villar, Director of Rooms – Casa Madrona Inn & Spa, Sausalito 
Jeff Josenhans, Director of Venues – US Grant, San Diego 
Bernd Liebergesell, Executive Chef & Director of F&B – The Westin St. Francis, San Francisco

General Manager of the Year: 
Claudia Ludlow – Glorietta Bay Inn, Coronado 
Sal Abaunza – L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills 
Albert Smith – Hotel Palomar, Los Angeles 
Tom Klein – The Fairmont, San Francisco

The Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of Year award winner was: 
Kelly Merrit, Sales Manager – Hotel Nikko, San Francisco

WIL Connect Leader of the Year award winner was: 
Marissa Edwards, Director of all Fun Things – Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes

Student Member of the Year: 
Jessica Zhang, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona

Student Chapter of the Year: 
Cal Poly Hospitality Association, Pomona

A Community Service award went to: 
Pacific Palms Conference resort, City of Industry

Guest Relations awards went to: 
Glorietta Bay Inn, Coronado 
Miyako Hybrid Hotel, Torrance

Special Event - Ongoing: 
Hyatt Regency, Sacramento

Good Earthkeeping award winners were: 
Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa, Sausalito 
Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes

“The California Hotel & Lodging Association is very proud of these individuals and properties,” said CH&LA President & CEO Lynn Mohrfeld. “Our congratulations go out to each award winner for their first-rate and notable contributions to the industry.”

# # #

About CH&LA 
The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) is the largest state lodging industry association in the nation and a Partner State Association of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Its members include all segments of the lodging industry including the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns - California’s largest association of professional innkeepers and certified bed and breakfast inns. CH&LA is the leading resource for communicating and protecting the rights and interests of the California lodging industry. CH&LA was established in 1893. CH&LA is on the web at