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The American Hotel & Lodging Association Now Accepting Property
and Employee Nominees for the 2009 Stars of the Industry Awards
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Washington, December 9, 2008 — The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) members can apply for the 2009 Stars of the Industry Awards online at www.ahla.com/stars.  The deadline for applications is February 16, 2009, and awards will be announced during the Stars of the Industry Luncheon on June 24 at AH&LA’s Summer Summit in Chicago, IL.

A new category in 2009 is the Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year award, created in memory of Stevan Porter, former president of the Americas for the InterContinental Hotels Group, and organized in conjunction with the association’s launch of the Under 30 Gateway, AH&LA’s new membership category exclusively for hospitality professionals under age 30.  This is the first Stars of the Industry award open to all AH&LA member companies, and preference will be given to AH&LA Gateway members. 

Other award categories include:

Lodging Property Achievement Awards

There is no cost to enter. Many of AH&LA's partner state associations also recognize their state's best and brightest stars on the local level.  These state winners will be considered for the national honor.  If your partner state association has a program which offers an award comparable to a national AH&LA award, your entries must be submitted through them and not to AH&LA directly.  To check your state's requirements, see the drop-down menu on the main Stars homepage.

AH&LA honors properties in the following categories: 

Community Service
Awarded for programs that demonstrate that the individual property is responsive to the local community. Examples include campaigns to benefit local or national service organizations or charities, service to any part of the community through a special project, and joint undertakings with community groups for the benefit of the area.

Special Events - One-Time Only and Ongoing
Awarded for programs or campaigns that demonstrate a creative approach to scheduled events, anniversaries, charity events, holidays, or special publicity events.

Good Earthkeeping
Recognizes lodging properties that have developed a culture toward integrating superior environmental management practices that improve everyday operations and the bottom line, while maintaining quality service and meeting guest expectations. Winning applications will clearly show the organization's commitment to the success in achieving superior environmental success in two or more of the following areas: energy conservation, solid waste reduction, effluents and emissions, water conservation, purchasing, and business issues (e.g., guest demands, community issues, land use and development, training, and policy).

Prism
Recognizes the programs, initiatives, and corporate culture that lead to an environment of inclusion amongst all employees and/or guests, regardless of race, gender, creed, or physical ability.  Proven diversity outreach in terms of marketing, hiring, retaining, and promoting is equally as important as overcoming intangible barriers that lead to overall guest and employee satisfaction and recognition.

Two awards are given for each category -- for properties with less than 150 rooms, and for properties with 151 rooms or more. Special consideration will be given to programs produced in-house, e.g. without the use of a public relations or advertising agency.

Entry Information
Many of AH&LA's partner state associations also have awards programs, and their winners only will be considered for the national honor from their states.  If your partner state association has a program which offers an award comparable to a national AH&LA award, your entries must be submitted through them and not to AH&LA directly.  To check your state's specific requirements, see the drop-down menu on the main Stars homepage.

You'll also need to include a full description of the program or activity, including goals, implementation, and results in no more than four double-spaced pages plus one for budget. Submit any materials that substantiate the award entry, including photos, guest comment cards and letters, news clippings, and other documentation (e.g., company newsletters, news releases, booklets) for the judges' consideration. Please include four (4) copies of all materials.  Deadline for 2009 nominations is February 16, 2009.

All materials submitted to AH&LA can be sent to:

AH&LA Stars of the Industry Awards Program
1201 New York Ave. #600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
Your property must be an AH&LA member in good standing for consideration. If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit our membership section.  If you have any additional questions about the entry process, please contact Jessica Soklow at jsoklow@ahla.com.

Employee  Awards

There is no cost to enter. Many of AH&LA's partner state associations also recognize their state's best and brightest stars on the local level.  These state winners will be considered for the national honor.  If your partner state association has a program which offers an award comparable to a national AH&LA award, your entries must be submitted through them and not to AH&LA directly.  To view resquirements in your state, please see the drop-down menu on the main Stars homepage.

AH&LA honors individuals in the following categories: 

Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year Recognizes a non-management employee (e.g., concierges, housekeepers, etc.) who goes above and beyond normal job responsibilities. Nominees are judged on outstanding and unusual service to the property, to the guests, and to the community. (The property of the Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year award winner will be responsible for producing a three-minute video to be shown at the awards presentation. AH&LA will assist with the costs.)

Outstanding Manager of the Year
Recognizes exceptional performance by a supervisory employee (e.g., food & beverage managers, front desk managers, etc.) to their subordinates, to guests, and to the community.

Outstanding General Manager of the Year
Honors a hotelier who has demonstrated superior professionalism in operating an AH&LA member property and taken a leadership role in the industry by actively participating in association, community, or industry programs.

Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year (New in 2009; Separate entry form necessary)
Honors an exemplary hotel employee under age 30 who has demonstrated superior professional dedication, leadership, and a fresh perspective to their job at an AH&LA member company.  This individual should illustrate “out of the box” thinking in their professional and personal life, and dedication to the industry by actively participating in association, community, or industry programs. Award recipient should also be actively involved in community service in either the local or national arena. (The Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year is a new award category for 2009 organized to honor the accomplishments of Stevan Porter, former president of the Americas for the InterContinental Hotels Group, and recognize the same level of enthusiasm and dedication to hospitality in young lodging employees under age 30.  The national award is organized in conjunction with the association’s launch of the Under 30 Gateway, the new membership category dedicated to providing hospitality professionals under age 30 with tailored professional development and networking resources.  Gateway membership is free to any employees of AH&LA member organizations.  More information is online at www.ahla.com/Gateway.)

One award in each category is given for each property size — small (100 rooms or less), medium (101-300 rooms), or large (301 rooms or more); the Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader Award is one award open to all employees of AH&LA member companies (both property and corporate members). 

Entry Information
Many of AH&LA's partner state associations also have local awards programs, and their winners only will be considered for the national honor from their states.  If your partner state association has a program which offers an award comparable to a national AH&LA award, your entries must be submitted through them and not to AH&LA directly.  Please visit www.ahla.com/stars to determine if your state has a program, and for additional information pertaining to the state nomination process. 

You'll also need to explain in up to four double-spaced pages why this nominee should be honored.  Examples include undertaking special services, showing outstanding leadership qualities, performing heroic deeds, or consistently adding to the general well-being of guests. Include any material substantiating the award entry, such as photos, letters of commendation, guest comment cards, news clippings, and other support materials for the judges' consideration. Please include four (4) copies of all materials.  Deadline for 2009 nominations is February 16, 2009.

All materials submitted to AH&LA can be sent to:

AH&LA Stars of the Industry Awards Program
1201 New York Ave. #600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
Your property must be an AH&LA member in good standing for consideration. If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit our membership section.  If you have any additional questions about the entry process, please contact Jessica Soklow at jsoklow@ahla.com.

Members interested in applying for the 2009 awards are urged to read their state’s eligibility requirements before submitting entries to AH&LA directly; many of AH&LA’s partner state hotel associations require that all national entries be submitted to them directly for national consideration.  State requirements are accessible via the main Stars of the Industry Website at www.ahla.com/stars

For more information, please contact Bevin Padden at bpadden@ahla.com or (202) 289-3177; or your local state lodging association. 

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.

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Contact:

Bevin Padden
bpadden@ahla.com
(202) 289-3177

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Also See: Ten Industry Employees Receive the American Hotel & Lodging Association Stars of the Industry Award / April 2001
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