The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, March 2016 … Benchmark Hospitality International® announces that Kaitlin Soto, restaurant and beverage cart server for Eaglewood Resort & Spa, located in Chicago, Illinois, is the recipient of the Chairman’s Award of Excellence. The annual award, which was created in 2005 by Burt Cabañas, founder & chairman of Benchmark Hospitality International, recognizes an employee of the leading U.S.-based hospitality management company who has exhibited extraordinary service throughout the previous year. Ms. Soto was presented with the prestigious award recently in a special ceremony at Benchmark’s Home Office in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Ms. Soto was recommended for the Award of Excellence by Tom Garcia, Benchmark Hospitality’s vice president and general manager for Eaglewood Resort & Spa.
“Passion for nutrition and education are evident in everything Kaitlin does professionally and personally,” said Mr. Cabañas. “Whether contributing her time to healthy eating programs for children at home or volunteering her time to help improve the lives of children in the West Indies, Kaitlin is tireless with her devotion to help people live healthier lives. I congratulate her on receiving the Benchmark Hospitality International Chairman’s Award of Excellence.”
"I've been privileged to accomplish many initiatives involving academics, nutrition, and community service,” said Kaitlin Soto. “Throughout my blessed upbringing, I've met amazing people who have inspired me to push the limits and encourage others to follow. This is what drives me towards service to others.”
While attending Benedictine University where she maintained a 3.71 GPA, Kaitlin Soto received the 2013 Nutrition Recognition Award, and in 2015 she received the Nutrition Educator Award. Working with a local organic juice and health food café, she participated in events to encourage children to choose healthy lifestyles and helped to educate people at a chiropractic clinic to eat healthy. Kaitlin has also volunteered her time with Loaves & Fishes Community Services where she helped with the SMART check program to enable clients to choose healthy foods while shopping, and increase fruit consumption.
On an overseas project, Ms. Soto volunteered with Sandals Foundation in Antigua, West Indies, to educate children and help them develop skills and engage them in healthful habits, such as eating fruits and vegetables early in life.
In the spring of this year Kaitlin accepted an intern position at a organization that operates under the National School Lunch Program and helped develop menus and standardized recipes as well as food sourcing to help school-aged children eat "real" foods and receive more nutrition from the food they consume.
Other organizations she has volunteered for and raised money for include Feed My Starving Children; Avon Walk for Breast Cancer; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; the American Lung Association, the American Red Cross, and the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in Chicago. Kaitlin is also working with the Charitable Promotions Organization in the Chicagoland area to develop a website for charities to promote their activities and become an outlet for nutrition education. She has a particular interest in nutrition and how it relates to cancer prevention.
It was evident to the Benchmark Hospitality International selection team that Kaitlin Soto was the clear choice for the Chairman’s Award of Excellence.