The Hospitality Hero Recognition Program is the St. Louis CVC’s frontline employee recognition program designed to stimulate and reward exceptional service by hospitality industry employees. Frontliners who best exemplify our community’s ongoing commitment to great service are designated Hospitality Heroes.
Nominations are solicited from management of hospitality industry companies each June and judged by a panel of customer service experts. Of these nominations, the frontline employees who, in addition to giving high quality guest service, go a step farther to WOW a guest by rising to an unexpected occasion and pulling out all the stops to come to a positive and memorable resolution are named Super Heroes. Nominees are recognized annually during the CVC’s Annual Meeting.
View the video below to see the 2012 Super Heroes and their “WOW” moment.
2012 Hospitality Super Heroes
A gentlemen guest arrived at the hotel in a terrible state. He explained to Katie that he had lost his luggage and the only clothes he had were the ones on his back. What made matters worse, he had an early meeting the next morning and there was a hole in his pants. Katie suggested to the guest to go up to his room and relax. She would be up shortly to pick up his pants and repair them. True to her word, Katie picked up the pants from the guest, got to work at stitching up the hole, running a hot iron over the wrinkles and returned them to the guest. The gentleman was thrilled and offered a tip for her help, but Katie refused.
A couple that travels to St. Louis for follow up care at an area hospital are regular guests at the Holiday Inn Forest Park. On their last visit, the husband had passed away in his sleep. The wife, clearly distressed, tried to wake up her husband, as well as checking for a heartbeat. Unable to get a response, the woman ran into the hall where she found Lydia. While other staff members were calling 911, Lydia checked for a pulse and breathing. When Lydia realized nothing more could be done, she escorted the woman out of the room and offered comfort. Lydia stayed with the guest until out-of town family arrived.
Last fall, the United States Tennis Association held their Wheelchair Championship in St. Louis at Forest Park, an event that draws players from around the globe. Two days before the finals, one of the top players (and hotel guest) broke his specially made, eight-thousand dollar wheelchair. He came to the front desk distraught and desperate for help. Engineer Chris was called and after careful examination, determined he could fix it. A certified welder, Chris brought in equipment from home and repaired the chair. When Chris returned it to the guest, the gentleman exclaimed it was better than before. It must have been because the player went on to win the USTA title.
Aretha Hudson, Housekeeper; Niketta Dailey, Guest Service Agent; and Stephanie Stoliar, Guest Service Agent
Residence Inn by Marriott – Downtown
A family from Champaign made the Residence Inn Downtown their home away from home while their son and grandson, Ben, was undergoing treatments for a rare blood disease. The actual family and the young boy are seen here in this video. During their time at the hotel, they developed a strong bond with three employees.
Aretha provided the extra care and attention to detail needed to keep the family’s room clean and germ-free as possible. Everything in the suite had to be wiped down, and special sheets, towels and linens had to be provided each day for Ben. A mother of thirteen, Aretha cleaned the family’s room out of love and true compassion.
Nikitta formed a very close bond with Ben’s mom and grandmother. She became a welcome shoulder to lean on, as well as a confidant to the women. Nikitta talked with the ladies and lifted their spirits when the day’s activities at the hospital were difficult. She always greeted the family with her quick wit and compassionate smile.
Stephanie encountered Ben on his tricycle as he cruised the lobby. He was always under Stephanie’s watchful eye, as Ben had no fear of strangers. They spent time together talking at the front desk or enjoying a good book. Stephanie always knew when Ben was having a good day or a bad day.
A Cardinals fan approached the Busch Stadium gate with her faithful companion – a hard-sided coffee thermos. The woman traveled everywhere with it. The usher told her she could not bring it in, as this was a Major League Baseball rule. The guest became upset, crying and carrying on, but finally moved through the turnstile. The usher was quite upset herself about the events, so she called Jack over to discuss. He assured the usher that she did the right thing. A little later in the evening, Jack returned to the gate in hopes of retrieving the thermos. To his surprise, the thermos had the fan’s address on it. Since Jack didn’t know where the fan was sitting, he took the item to Stadium Operations and had it mailed to the fan. Needless to say, the woman was thrilled.
On a Thursday afternoon, a hotel VIP guest left her suitcase at the in-house shipping store for pick-up on Friday and delivery to Arizona on Saturday. When the luggage didn’t arrive, the guest called and told Eric about her desperate situation. The guest needed that luggage to be delivered to her no later than Sunday for her early Monday meeting. After several hours investigating the mix up with pick-up and delivery, as well as other alternatives to send the luggage out on another flight, Eric volunteered on his day off to deliver it. So at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, he took off and hand-delivered the luggage to a very grateful guest. Eric returned to St. Louis at 11:30 p.m. that night, making for a long day.
John Robinson, Jr. and Michelle Kennon, Concession Catering Cooks
Delaware North Sportservice at Busch Stadium
After a recent Cardinals game and a long work day, Michelle and John made their way over to the MetroLink station for the ride home. Michelle observed a man stumbling on the tracks and began yelling at him to get out of the way, as a train would be coming soon. The man tried to climb the wall, but failed. There were others at the station, but no one helped. Then John sprang into action and ran over to the wall, grabbed the man and lifted him to safety.
An Illinois resident booked a weekend stay at the Hyatt through Priceline. The woman and her husband were celebrating their thirtieth (30th) anniversary. While they got the room at a very low rate, the couple’s daughter called ahead and spoke with Keith on ways to make the stay even more special. Keith set out on making it a couple’s getaway. First, he upgraded the room to a deluxe king with a great Arch view. Then, decorated the bed with fresh rose petals in the shape of a heart. He completed the package with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and other treats, plus a DVD player for the weekend, complete with a movie assortment.
A hotel guest was swimming in the pool with her two small children. Deciding to take a break, she moved both kids to the side of the pool, telling the older one to sit quietly on the side while she put the younger child in the stroller. Tony observed all this while he was vacuuming just outside the pool area. With the mother’s back turned, the older child made his way back into the pool, not realizing the water was deep. Seeing the child in distress, Tony jumped the fence and pulled the child from the pool. The mother was extremely grateful for Tony’s quick action.
A Canadian couple was in town for a Cardinals game and presented Andrea with a request. They had two sons who play American football in Canada and wanted to purchase two pairs of receiver gloves to take home. They could have purchased them online, but the customs charges were more than the cost of the gloves. The couple wasn’t able to get out to area sporting goods stores, so Andrea did the shopping. On her own time, she visited not one, but two Sports Authority stores to find the requested colors and styles. Upon her return to the hotel, she greeted the couple with the purchases, who were delighted she went the extra mile.