|By Chris Bosak, The Hour, Norwalk,
Conn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Mar. 4, 2010--NORWALK -- Irene Dixon is receiving the accolade, but she's not about to take all the credit.
Dixon, the director of sales and marketing for Hilton Garden Inn in Norwalk, has been named the Director of the Year for all Hilton Garden Inns worldwide. There are more than 400 Hilton Garden Inns globally.
"We're all excited. It's a reflection of the entire team," Dixon said. "If I didn't have the support of the team, my sales wouldn't mean anything. I'm just the lucky one who gets recognized."
Candidates for the award are nominated by the general managers of their respective hotels. The award is based on sales for the year, as well as making a positive impact on customers and the community.
Dixon is active in Norwalk through organizations such as the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. She serves as vice president, ambassadors for that group. She was also recently presented with the Individual Partner Award by the Norwalk Education Foundation.
"It's important for every company to be a good neighbor," she said. "You have to take care of the people you work with and people you take care of. The best marketing is action -- action that shows you care and are a good citizen."
Dixon has been at Hilton Garden Inn for about five years. She previously worked for another hotel chain on Main Avenue. The Hilton Garden Inn in Norwalk is owned by New Castle Hotels, a Shelton-based company.
"It was sort of a surprise, but not really because she does such a nice job," Kevin Viteri, general manager of Norwalk's Hilton Garden Inn, said. "It was more of a surprise for her because this was all done behind the scenes. She's helped us become a market leader and a community leader as well."
Dixon may have been surprised when Hilton Garden Inn corporate employees presented her with the award in person last week, but Brian Griffin, vice president of the Greater Norwak Chamber of Commerce, was not at all shocked when he heard the news.
"Those who know Irene were certainly not surprised by this momentous achievement -- we have always known that she is indeed the best," he said. "This award is a very big deal, and accurately reflects Irene's strength and success in her position at Hilton, as well as her unmatched commitment to this community. We are so proud of her -- and so pleased for her."
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