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Melissa Szulszteyn Named Lodging Employee of the Year by the
Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association Just a
few Years after Struggling Through Unemployment

Other Employees and Hotels Recognized in 10 Additional Categories

By Hannah Sampson, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

April 27, 2011-Just a few years ago, Melissa Szulszteyn was out of work and applying for a mountain of jobs after her position at Kforce Professional Staffing was eliminated.

Tuesday, she was honored for the job she landed in that search -- executive assistant to the general manager and hotel manager at the W hotel in South Beach. Szulszteyn was named lodging employee of the year at 17th annual Inn Key Awards, put on by the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association.

"Everything happens for a reason," said Szulszteyn, 30.

More than 800 people attended the event at the InterContinental Miami, with 55 hotels represented, said Wendy Kallergis, the association's president and CEO.

Winners in 10 categories were given a plaque and $500 each. A winner was chosen in each category for a hotel with more than 200 rooms and one with fewer than 200.

Winners were: Alvaro Reyes of Eden Roc Renaissance and Jean Pierre Isaza of The Hotel for bellperson; Hannah Lombardo of Eden Roc Renaissance and Ariel Flores of the Raleigh for food and beverage; Megan Etchison of Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay and Jade Spano of the Delano for front office; Marie Jolis of W South Beach and Nadia Jean Louis of Canyon Ranch for room keeper; Elvia Zambrano of InterContinental Miami and Eduardo Penalva of the Setai for security officer; David Arth of the Mondrian and Jeff Dolgan of Canyon Ranch for recreation; Fidel Farias of Sofitel Miami and Alberto Ruiz of Acqualina for engineering; Brenda Cooper of Four Seasons Miami and Rashaan Patterson of Clevelander/Essex House for culinary/kitchen; Keena Blum of Fairmont Turnberry Isle and John Durham of The Hotel for concierge and Charles Coley of the Biltmore and Maydee Bauta of Clevelander/Essex House for valet.

Hotels were also honored in various categories: Loews Miami Beach for guest relations; Trump International and Canyon Ranch for employee relations; Fontainebleau for diversity in the workplace; Shore Club and The Betsy for community service and InterContinental Miami and Setai for environmental achievement.



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