Two Employees at Moana Surfrider Honored by American Hotel & Lodging Association

Two employees of the Moana Surfrider–A Westin Resort & Spa—fountain dispenser Nancy Gorospe and food and beverage director Brian Hunnings—were honored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association at its annual Stars of the Industry program in Atlanta yesterday. Gorospe was selected outstanding lodging employee of the year and Hunnings was named manager of the year, both in the large property category of 301 rooms or more.

This is the third consecutive year Hawaii has produced the AHLA’s top lodging employee. Last year’s recipient was Leticia Gamiao of the Aqua Waikiki Wave and the 2009 winner was Buster Civerolo of Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. This was the first time a Hawaii employee was named manager of the year and the first time two representatives from the same property were selected for the national titles.

Hawaii’s representatives for these national awards are chosen from the HHLA’s Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana (The Hard Working People) awards program, held each January. The program receives more than 200 nominations a year from member hotels and businesses, from which the top employees are selected in various categories.

Nancy Gorospe has worked at the Moana Surfrider for 22 years. She oversees the snack bar that covers the beach and pool areas of the banyan wing. Gorospe is active in the community, participating in the Aloha Festivals and volunteering with the Hawaiian Humane Society. Repeat guests have cited her exceptional service and aloha spirit as the reasons they return to Hawaii and stay at the Moana Surfrider.

Brian Hunnings has been in the hospitality industry for 21 years, and has introduced programs that have led to significant increases in business for Starwood’s restaurants. His work to bring locally sourced food to the hotel's tables helps support island farmers, the results of which ended in Starwood’s expansion of Hawaii products on the hotels’ menus. Hunnings is an active supporter of the Aloha United Way and Aloha Festivals. He and his co-workers help HUGS (Help, Understanding, and Group Support), which provides resources for families of terminally ill children.

The Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association is a statewide association of hotels, condominiums, timeshare companies, management firms, suppliers, and other related firms and individuals. Membership includes over 170 hotels representing more than 48,000 rooms.