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Vern Bienfang, Server at the The Northland Inn in Minneapolis, Recipient of the
Benchmark Hospitality International Chairman's Award of Excellence

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, June 2009 … Burt Cabañas, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International, has announced the newest recipient of the Chairman’s Award of Excellence:  Vern Bienfang.  Mr. Bienfang, who works in food and beverage for The Northland Inn, located near Minneapolis, was originally nominated for his exemplary guest service, his contagious positive attitude, and for going far beyond the call of duty with his extraordinary humanitarian work.

“Vern was chosen from a field of exceptional nominees,” said Mr. Cabañas.  "He is one of the most dedicated employees within the Benchmark organization and there are few more benevolent.  When a member of his community is in need, Vern responds in a grand way.  He personifies Benchmark’s Core Values every day."

Vern Bienfang was selected out of a field of nominees from more than 5000 employees within the Benchmark organization worldwide.  Employed as a server in America’s Harvest restaurant at The Northland Inn and in the property’s banquet department, Mr. Bienfang is always ready to serve.  He is renowned at the property for doing what is needed every day to ensure guests of The Northland Inn receive exemplary service, doing so with an appealing smile on his face.  If there is a guest need, he fills it.

Outside work, Vern Bienfang has actively embraced his community by engaging in humanitarian work within Minneapolis, working closely with the disabled and providing help and support to persons experiencing difficulty finding employment.

Remarkably, when a co-worker was injured and needed assistance, Mr. Bienfang moved this person into his home to provide care and helped navigate through challenging insurance issues.

Burt Cabañas concluded with, “Vern does nothing with the thought of reward, recognition, or of being repaid.  He does it out of kindness and generosity of character.”  Mr. Cabañas continued with, “A genuinely good man, Vern beautifully exemplifies our Core Values of Integrity, the Intrinsic Value of the Individual, Entrepreneurship, Partnership, Realism and Service.  I am so pleased to present him as the newest recipient of the Benchmark Chairman’s Award of Excellence.”

L to R:  Marcia Abel, Director of Human Resources, The Northland Inn; Charles Nehme, General Manager, The Northland Inn; Vern Bienfang, Recipient of the Chairman’s Award of Excellence; Burt Cabañas, Chairman & CEO, Benchmark Hospitality International

About Benchmark Hospitality’s Chairman's Award of Excellence 

The Benchmark Hospitality International Chairman's Award of Excellence is presented annually by Burt Cabañas, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the company. Recipients are selected from employees nominated by general managers of Benchmark properties globally.

To be nominated for the Chairman's Award of Excellence, employees must meet an established set of criteria, some of which include: providing a truly outstanding act of community service that is recognized by the community; initiating a service or idea that exemplifies the company's entrepreneurial spirit; delivering performance during extremely difficult circumstances that far exceeds job description and job expectations.

The Chairman's Award is designed to recognize and celebrate individuals who demonstrate excellence with significant impact and exemplify Benchmark's core values. 

About The Northland Inn

The Northland Inn is a 231 guest suite, full service hotel located just minutes from downtown Minneapolis. The property features America’s Harvest Restaurant serving regional American cuisine and complete catering services for groups.   The outstanding facilities, together with a 33,000-square-foot conference center, combined with superior service and attention to detail, have made The Northland Inn a consistent industry leader.   For more information on The Northland Inn, visit  Benchmark Hospitality International operates The Northland Inn. 

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Hotels™.  The privately held company, launched in 1980, is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston, with regional offices in New Jersey and Connecticut.  International offices are located in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit 


Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax

Also See: George Ables, Guest Services Manager at Stonewall Resort in Weston, West Virginia Recipient of Benchmark's 2007 Chairman's Award of Excellence / May 2008
Richard Hillway, Director of Tennis at Benchmark's Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Recipient of 2006 Annual Chairman's Award of Excellence / December 2006 
Benchmark Hospitality Launches Chairman's Award of Excellence; Inaugural Award presented to Mario Herrera, North Maple Inn, Basking Ridge, NJ / February 2006 



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