|LAS VEGAS, May 10, 1999 - -- George Markantonis, vice
president of hotel operations at Caesars Palace, was honored with the 1999
Arthur Landstreet Award by the American Hotel & Motel (AHMA) Educational
Institute for his efforts to significantly advance the quality of hospitality
education and personnel development. The award, which is named after
the Tennessee hotelier who founded the Educational Institute in 1952, was
presented at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., at the annual conference
and leadership forum of the AHMA, during the "Stars of the Industry" luncheon
April 16, 1999.
"[Markantonis] truly exemplifies a hotelier with a life dedicated to
education and the continuing development of every employee," wrote Van
V. Heffner, president of the Nevada Hotel & Motel Association, in his
letter of nomination. "He cares deeply about each employee and always
opens as many doors as he can for them through the gift of learning."
began his career in the hotel industry in Johannesburg, South Africa, where
he was hired as a front desk agent at the Carlton Hotel, an international
flagship of Westin Hotels and resorts. He advanced his studies through
the Educational Institute of the AHMA 1978, and completed the diploma program
in 1982. He advanced to assistant manager, night manager, front office
manager, restaurant manager and finally deputy manager of the resort.
Markantonis transferred to the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas, Texas,
as convention sales manager in 1985, and relocated to the Westin Paso Del
Norte in El Paso, Texas in 1986. In the following year, he was transferred
to the Westin Cypress Creek in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as the opening director
of rooms, and in 1988 became the director of food and beverage.
In 1989, he was moved to the Westin Galleria and the Westin Oaks Hotels
in Houston as the director of rooms, and became the director of operations
for both sister properties in 1991. While in Houston, he began to
serve as guest lecturer at the University of Houston Conrad Hilton School
of Hotel Management.
In August 1995, Markantonis became assistant vice president of rooms
at Caesars Palace. During March 1998, he was named vice president
of hotel operations at Caesars Palace, and holds the responsibility for
the professional development of more than 2,000 employees.
Markantonis continued his studies during his career, and holds three
coveted accreditations from the Educational Institute of the AHMA, including
Certified Hotel Administrator (C.H.A), Certified Food & Beverage Executive
(C.F.B.E.) and Certified Rooms Division Executive (C.R.D.E.).
During his 16-year career with Westin International, he received the
Outstanding Personnel Development Award, the highest award for education
and training of employees, as well as the Thurston Dupar Inspirational
Leadership Award for outstanding educational development of staff at the
Westin Galleria & Westin Oaks hotels in Houston.
Markantonis received the "Student Mentor of the Year" award in 1997,
for outstanding leadership and industry service from the William F. Harrah
College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He serves as guest lecturer at the college, and has involved hundreds of
staff at Caesars Palace as mentors for students in the UNLV hotel college
over the past four years.
Caesars Palace is the flagship hotel casino of Caesars World, Inc.
Caesars World currently is a subsidiary of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Inc., which operates more than 700 hotels in 72 countries, including
the St. Regis/Luxury Collection, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Caesars
and W brands. Starwood and Park Place Entertainment Corporation announced
April 27, 1999, a definitive agreement to sell Caesars World Inc. to Park
Place for total consideration of $3 billion, pending regulatory approval
and satisfaction of various conditions contained in the purchase agreement.
Completion of the sale is expected by the fourth quarter of 1999.