Published On: Mon, Oct 30th, 2023

“Hospitality Heroes” Saluted At Boca Chamber’s 1st Platinum Awards

By Marci Shatzman

The last thing Gladys Des Auguste expected was a ballroom-size standing ovation for her work as a housekeeper for The Boca Raton.

So, who could blame her for getting emotional at the finale of the Boca Chamber’s first Platinum Service Awards luncheon at Boca West Country Club.

“For four decades, she has embodied exceptional commitment and dedication to guest services,” Cheney Brothers CEO Byron Russell said to present her with the 2023 Overall Award.

“How do you feel right now?” WPTV morning anchor and event emcee Ashley Glass asked, as Des Augustes made her way on stage for photos.

“I’m so happy!” she said, posing with Russell, The Boca Raton’s catering director George Petrocelli and Boca West’s general manager Matthew Linderman, who teamed up to present the event.  

 “Hospitality rocks!” is how Glass introduced this salute to hospitality workers nominated by their respective hotels and country clubs for exceptional service. “All the workers stand up for a round of applause. You are the reason we’re all here today,” she said.

“You are the heartbeat of hospitality who keep guests and members coming back,” Linderman added, calling the nominees “hospitality heroes.”

Chamber president and CEO Troy McLellan committed to making the Platinum Service Awards an annual addition to the Chamber’s official calendar. He called Lynn University’s Barbara Cambia, Chamber tourism chair, “the cheerleader and force behind this (event) and had the vision,” and credited Chamber executive vice president Sarah Pearson with making it happen.

Then Chamber board of directors member Ron Wichowski took over the mic to present the awards in several categories, from country club front of house to hotel housekeeping. “It’s the people who make the difference,” said Wichowski, vice president of operations for Dimension Hospitality.  

Nominees included:

·     Boca Grove: Emma Beltran, housekeeping manager; Andres Cucalon, dining room supervisor; Alexandra Darnall, daycare supervisor; Rabelais Destine, pantry cook; Julia Flores, banquet captain; Carla Hull, director of talent and culture; Toto Jeanty, dishwasher; Gaby Joy, property manager; Michelet Marcelin, greenskeeper/landscaping; Maria Paulinho, server; Anthony Sileo, guest attendant

·     Boca Lago Golf & Country Club, Alcinor Charlite, line cook; Amber Kraus, bartender; Tami Vrona, pro shop clerk

·     Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center: Tammy Berrian, server; Jhuslaine Constant, housekeeping attendant; Osvaldo Mendez, engineering supervisor; Elizabeth Perry, night auditor; Oriana Rivas, guest service representative; Guisell Roadarmel, f&b (food and beverage) supervisor; Darlene Senisi, bartender

·     Boca West Country Club: Amanda Mahoney, golf administration manager; Robertino Lucian Petre, housekeeping supervisor; Ximena Resendiz, activities and cardroom coordinator; Remis Saimbre, pantry cook; Ingrid Zea, lifeguard/instructor/massage therapist  

·     Hyatt Place Boca Raton Downtown: Maria Keuning Wilde, f&b manager

·     Renaissance Boca Raton: Nadege Pierre, concierge lounge attendant; Orville Scott, assistant chief engineer

·     Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club: Chris Baltadjiev, line cook; Jason Brunelle, HVAC maintenance; Silvia Disderi, tennis professional; Rene “Cabo” Lopez, irrigation technician; Maria Veronica Lynch, wellness attendant; Susan Shaw, lead server; Antuaneth Tirado, communications specialist  

·     The Boca Raton: Alisa Dudley, massage therapist; Jameson Lukasik, banquet chef; Ivonna Luu, banquet server; Juan Puerta, production supervisor; Naomi Ropp, membership accounting supervisor; Ben Sugay, bellman

·     The Polo Club of Boca Raton: Shannon Watson, bartender; Al Yehia, security personnel

·     Waterstone Resort & Marina: Milorad Adasevic, server; George Johnson, bellman; Shemika Rambo, housekeeping supervisor

·     Wyndham Boca Raton Hotel: Rose Auredy, lobby attendant; Dalicia Bertrand, housekeeper; Jocelyne Blanc, laundry attendant; Moses Holness, engineer; Paul Oredy, housekeeping houseperson

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