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Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Presents its Golden Pineapple Awards
Recognizing Hospitality Employees for their Superior Service

200 Employees Nominated, 9 Collegiate Scholarships Presented to Employee Family Members

ORLANDO, FL: On Thursday evening, January 26th, at the DoubleTree Hotel By Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA) hosted its annual Golden Pineapple Awards recognizing hospitality’s “Front Line” employees for their superior service.  This “Academy Awards style” dinner celebration honored the finest members of the hospitality industry, recognizing the “crème de la crème” employees from 12 different categories:

Outstanding Administrative Employee of the Year
Melanie Garland, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
Outstanding Bell Person / Concierge Employee of the Year
Kevin Houck, Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa
Outstanding Community Service Employee of the Year
Nelson Ramos, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort
Outstanding Convention Center / Banquet Employee of the Year
Tomas Cardenas, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Outstanding Culinary Employee of the Year
Khai Duong, Orlando Airport Marriott
Outstanding Engineering Employee of the Year
Samuel Chevere, Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club
Outstanding Food & Beverage Service Employee of the Year
Khalil “Amine” Semmoum, Embassy Suites I-Drive / Jamaican Court
Outstanding Front Office Employee of the Year
Amy Arrington, Nickelodeon Suites Resort
Outstanding Housekeeping Employee of the Year
Merle Joseph, Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Outstanding Laundry Employee of the Year
Helen Rose Brown, Sheraton Vistana Resort
Outstanding Recreation Employee of the Year
Alycia Hohman, JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Outstanding Security / Loss Prevention Employee of the Year
Melbin Borrero, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Over 200 employees were nominated for awards, representing 40 Central Florida lodging properties. Prior to dinner, all nominees were invited to attend a special VIP Reception with City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Each nominee had the opportunity to meet and be photographed with Mayor Dyer, who also offered a toast at the beginning of this dinner.

 Mayor Dyer toasts Golden Pineapple Awards nominees - and designated honorees as
 “Orlando Ambassadors"  - while proudly wearing a pineapple lapel pin.
The pineapple is considered the international symbol of hospitality.

Additionally, CFHLA presented a total of 9 collegiate scholarships (totaling $9,000) to family members of hotel “front-line” employees

To find out more about how the hospitality industry is advancing your community, please visit our website:

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA) is the world’s largest regional hotel association, representing approximately 80% of the hotels in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

Erin K. Hellkamp

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Also See: Central Florida Chapter of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Honors Rich Maladecki, President and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA), with the Gene T. Hassett Award / December 2011

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Names Annual Award Winners / December 2011

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Elects New Board of Directors and Executive Committee for 2012; Scott Ripoli Named as Chair / November 2011

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association's 2010 Golden Pineapple Awards Honored Central Florida’s Outstanding Hospitality Employees / January 2011

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association to Honor Marty Belz, President and Chairman of the Peabody Hotel Group, with the 2010 Charles Andrews Memorial Hospitality Award for Community Leadership / November 2010

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Elects 2010 Board of Directors; Paul Tang Voted Chairperson / November 2009

How Much Growth is Too Much? Thousands of New Hotel Room Under Construction in the Orlando Area. Can They Fill Them? / March 2009

Orlando-Area Hotel Occupancy Slips Below 70% to Lowest Rate on Record for Month of July / August 2009

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