|ORLANDO, FL - On Saturday, December 15th, the Central Florida
Hotel & Lodging Association hosted the 2007 Hospitality Gala at the
JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes. Over 1,100 hospitality executives
and local elected officials attended this event.
Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) from the evening's silent auction proceeds
were distributed to the "Central Florida YMCA After School Middle School
Following the evening's charity check presentation, CFHLA presented
its annual awards; the CFHLA Hotelier of the Year, the CFHLA Allied Member
of the Year, the CFHLA Engineer of the Year, and the prestigious Charles
Andrews Memorial Hospitality Award for Community Leadership.
The CFHLA 2007 Hotelier of the Year award was presented to Peter Kacheris,
of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resorts, for his
dedication and devotion to CFHLA programs and events over the last
6 years he's been a member of the association.
Mr. Mark McHugh, CEO of Gatorland, was the 2007 CFHLA "Charles Andrews
Memorial Hospitality Award for Community Leadership" recipient. Each year,
the award honors one local leader for their contribution to the area's
tourism industry through community service. This award is the "highest
honor" bestowed upon an individual by CFHLA, in recognition of their achievements
and contributions to the Central Florida hospitality industry and the community
at large. The award is named after the founding father of CFHLA,
Charles Andrews, and exemplifies perseverance and dedication to a cause.
"Mark McHugh's dedication to the Orlando area embodies the spirit and
intent of this award," stated CFHLA President Rich Maladecki.
"Specifically, CFHLA leadership is proud to recognize Mark for his
accomplishments relating to leading and managing the Orlando/Orange County
Convention & Visitors Bureau's transitions of the last 24 months.
They included the introduction of the enhanced marketing campaign, as well
as the hiring of a new CVB President. The CFHLA Board felt Mark was
a natural recipient for this year's award."
The 2007 Allied Member of the Year award went to George Fakhoury, North
Florida Area Manager of Sales and Marketing of Dollar Thrifty
Automotive Group, for his dedication and support of CFHLA programs
and committees over the last 10 years of his CFHLA membership.
The 2007 Engineer of the Year award was presented to Michael Smukall,
of the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, for his commitment and support of the
CFHLA Engineers Council programs and for his engineering expertise.
The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association is the World's
Largest Regional Hotel Association.