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Embassy Suites Hotels Honors Top 2010 Brand Performers

Russell Tanakaya Named General Manager of the Year of the Embassy Suites Brea - North Orange County


McLEAN, Va. (May 23, 2011) –Embassy Suites Hotels has announced the winners of its 2010 Brand Performance Awards, which were presented to select properties and their leaders during the brand’s annual conference in New Orleans last week. The conference theme, “Going Up,” was designed to encourage brand leaders to challenge themselves and their teams to rise to new heights, while embodying the brand culture and values of Embassy Suites Hotels.

“The pride of Embassy Suites is its gracious, engaging and caring team members. It was an honor and pleasure to recognize the top hotels and leaders of our brand,” said Jim Holthouser, global head of Embassy Suites Hotels and full service brands, Hilton Worldwide. “These teams work hard every day to bring our ‘Make a Difference’ service culture to life.”

The Hervey Feldman Award, named in honor of an Embassy Suites pioneer and the brand’s first president, recognizes a hotel general manager who demonstrates outstanding leadership and superb management. This year’s General Manager of the Year honor went to Russell Tanakaya of the Embassy Suites Brea - North Orange County.

“Leading by example is important to us here at Embassy Suites and we’re committed to rewarding our top performers by investing in their professional growth and development,” said Charles Gremillion, director of brand culture and internal communications. “It not only helps us develop strong leaders, but supports our ‘Make a Difference’ brand culture.”

Other winners selected from the brand’s 210 properties include:

  • Make a Difference Hotel of the Year: Embassy Suites by Hilton Caracas, Venezuela. This category represents the best in team member satisfaction, positive guest responses and community initiatives.
  • Director of Sales of the Year: Becky Vealey; Embassy Suites Murfreesboro - Hotel & Conference Center (Tenn.)
  • Revenue Manager of the Year: Erin Ewens Brown; Embassy Suites Los Angeles – International Airport/South
  • Best Sales Promotion: Embassy Suites of Southern California Co-Op, led by Embassy Suites Irvine - Orange County (for “Kids Eat Free” summer 2010 promotion)
  • Sales Team of the Year: Embassy Suites Charlotte - Concord/Golf Resort & Spa
  • Sustainability Hotel of the Year: Embassy Suites San Diego - La Jolla

New this year was the I Can Make a Difference Award. This award was created to allow hotels to showcase their philanthropic involvement and win $5,000 to further their work in their communities. The inaugural recipient was the Embassy Suites Charleston, West Va., for its “Operation Sweet Dreams,” a program that provides deploying parents the opportunity to record a personalized message packaged in a cuddly Teddy Bear.

The brand also inducted six general managers into the 2011-2012 Circle of Leadership class. The elite, year-long training program, which began in 2008, is designed to provide individualized coaching and leadership development that directly supports the Embassy Suites Hotels service statement --“Gracious, engaging and caring. Making a difference in the lives of others, in ways both big and small.” The program acknowledges leaders who demonstrate great potential within the brand and provides them with additional resources to enhance the performance of their hotels.

Newly-inducted Circle of Leadership members are:

  • David Del Russo; Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center
  • Faisal Kamal; Embassy Suites Houston - Energy Corridor
  • David Lang; Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas - Hotel, Spa & Convention Center
  • Amy Ormsby; Embassy Suites Flagstaff
  • Jody Smith; Embassy Suites Austin - Downtown/Town Lake
  • Jeff Zelkin; Embassy Suites Tucson - Paloma Village

“Much of the success of our brand depends on the hard work and genuine nature of each and every one of our team members,” Holthouser continued. “Through initiatives like our Brand Performance Awards and Circle of Leadership training program, we are constantly looking for opportunities to recognize our top team members and provide the tools and motivation they need to achieve maximum success at their hotels and in their communities.”

Other awards were issued in the areas of revenue management, customer relationship management, and satisfaction and loyalty.

For a full listing of all Brand Performance Award winners, please contact Maggie Giddens at Pictures from the awards ceremony also available upon request.

About Embassy Suites Hotels
Founded in 1984, Embassy Suites Hotels defines the upscale, all-suites segment and today has 210 hotels, with an additional 30 in the pipeline. With spacious two-room suites, engaging team members and an inviting atrium environment, guests are welcome to put their feet up and feel right at home. Embassy Suites’ complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfast helps guests gear up for their day, while the nightly Manager’s Reception with complimentary appetizers and beverages offers guests a great way to wind down. To learn more, visit

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 92 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,700 hotels and 610,000 rooms in 82 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit


Maggie Giddens
U.S. 1+703 883 5346
Lisa Harrison
U.S. 1+212 805 8019

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Also See: Embassy Suites Hotels Recognizes 20 of its 209 Properties as its Top Performers for 2010 and Gives Special Recognition with a "Connie" Award to its Top Three Properties / March 2011

262-Suite Embassy Suites Houston-Downtown Opens Doors with Registration for City’s First LEED Certified Hotel / February 2011

American Liberty Hospitality Secures $30 million Construction Financing for a 262-room Embassy Suites Hotel at George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston / November 2008

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