Night of stars comes after rain delay

NAWILIWILI — Loreto Villanueva had two awards, and had to make his entrance at least four times Thursday night.

Master of ceremonies Dickie Chang, who doubles as the host for the “Wala‘au” television show and used to be a concierge at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, recognized the standing ovation being afforded by Angela Vento, general manager of the Sheraton Kauai Resort, and her party at the Ninth Annual Malama Awards, honoring outstanding hotel and resort employees.

As a result, Chang worked his words to make Villanueva make his entrance repeatedly, so the “Wala‘au” videographer, Bruce Smalling, could get not only Villanueva’s entrance, but the reaction of his employers as well.

Villanueva holds down two full-time jobs, one as the door attendant at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, and the other as a bellman at the Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point.

He was awarded Bell Person of the Year recognition for both his positions.

The awards recognition spanned the wide range of positions that exist in resorts on the island, and was designed so these employees are afforded the recognition they deserve in their efforts to make visitors’ stay on the island memorable experiences.

Originally scheduled for March 14, the event was postponed due to the heavy rains that drenched the island.

The rescheduled evening of dining and recognition took place Wednesday at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, where close to 90 awards were presented to employees working at various resorts around the island.

Recognition was presented to outstanding employees in a variety of positions, including administrator/ accounting, concierge, food and beverage, front office

eservations, lodging employee of the year, roomkeeper of the year, security officer of the year, and supervisor/manager of the year.

Each of the recipients accepted a plaque on behalf of the Hawai‘i Hotel & Lodging Association, a certificate from Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste, and a letter of commendation from state Sen. Gary Hooser, D-Kaua‘i-Ni‘ihau.

Sandi Kato-Klutke, president of the HHLA Kaua‘i Chapter, was joined by Murray Towill, state HHLA president, and Baptiste.

The presentations were punctuated by a full course, plated dinner prepared by Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club Executive Chef Guy Higa, and enhanced by the entertainment by Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani under the direction of Pete Alquiza, who was standing in for kumu hula Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza, who was busy promoting the Kaua‘i Polynesian Festival at the Merrie Monarch Festival on the Big Island.

As the final award was presented, Kato-Klutke reminded the several hundred guests that next year’s awards will be taking place at the Princeville Resort.

The HHLA will be hosting the Kaua‘i 28th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on May 20 starting at 7 a.m. on the grounds of the historic County Building.

Vento is the chairperson for this event that aims to raise $165,000 for local charities.

Following are all the award-winners:

Accounting/Administrator of the Year

Jennifer Fermin, accounting/front office clerk, Kiahuna Plantation; Claire Hashimoto, human resources coordinator, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Rae Chandler, accounts payable, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Alex Dupitas, night auditor, Lawai Beach Resort; Leela Munoz, administrator, ResortQuest Islander on the Beach; Ralph Clark, purchasing agent, Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai; Annette Matheny, executive assistant, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Josette Corona, senior accounting coordinator, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club; Karen Mahelona, senior secretary, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Richard Roberts, controller, Waimea Plantation Cottages.

Bell Person of the Year

Brandon Toguchi, bellman, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach; Loreto Villanueva, door attendant, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Loreto Villanueva, bellman, Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point; Richie Gano, shuttle driver, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Peggy Salvador, bell desk attendant, Princeville Hotel.

Concierge of the Year

Steffanie Perez, Regency Club concierge, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Leilani Cabais, concierge, Princeville Resort; Judy Shiroma, vacation service coordinator, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Kehaulani Bushnell, concierge, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club; Jennifer Masada-White, concierge, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club.

Engineering/Maintenance Person of the Year

Roger Taroma, maintenance I, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; John Leota, maintenance, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Moises Badua, engineering, Lawai Beach Resort; Abraham Aquino, maintenance, ResortQuest at Poipu Kai; Robert Labuguen, maintenance technician, Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai; Mario Baldovino, maintenance, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach; James Dugay, maintenance engineer, Princeville Resort; Craig Matsuoka, maintenance mechanic III, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Kenny Melchor, mechanic III, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club; Erwin Ramos, maintenance manager, Makahuena at Poipu; Fred Aviguetero, maintenance leadman, Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point; Herb Fune, general maintenance, Sheraton Kauai Resort.

Food and Beverage Person of the Year

Willie Miguel, server’s assistant, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Dean Kaai, shift supervisor, Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai; William Batulayan Jr., cook I, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach; Jean Mullahy, banquet captain, Princeville Resort; Romeo Sudaria, cook, Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point; Kalani Agayan, steward, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Stephen Pascua, cook, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Tomeko Malone, waithelp, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Marcia Hoffman, Marketplace attendant, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club.

Front Office/Reservations Person of the Year

Georgia Kakuda, front office manager, Poipu Shores Resort; Eufrencina Valencia, front desk clerk, Kaha Lani; Francella “Napua” Rita, front desk agent, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Maryland Gerardo, front office supervisor, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Hilda Lazaro, front desk services, Lawai Beach Resort; Jolynn Babauta, front office, ResortQuest Islander on the Beach; Sharlalin Iseri, guest service agent, Aloha Beach Resort- Kauai; Bernice Yoshioka, front desk clerk, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beah; Nora Lopez, guest services

eservations, ResortQuest at Poipu Kai; Summer Munos, Ohana VIP Services agent, Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point; Dana Ching, guest service agent, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Maribel Abrigo, At Your Service agent, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Sonya Huwe, reservations agent, Princeville Hotel.

Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year

Cyndi Ceballos, systems specialist, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Clifford Furtado, maintenance, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Herminia Balilea, room attendant, Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai; Kelly Kaona, catering assistant, Princeville Hotel; Susan Hayakawa, concierge, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Allan Pablo, banquet porter, Sheraton Kauai Resort.

Roomkeeper of the Year

Marvis Kerr, housekeeping supervisor, Lanikai; Marilyn Carbonel, housekeeping coordinator, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Jovita Valdez, room attendant, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Maria Manuel, room attendant, Lawai Beach Resort; Randy Udaundo, house porter, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach; Rosalina Valdez, room attendant, ResortQuest at Poipu Kai; Germaline Ovales, room attendant, Princeville Resort; Flor Pena, houseman, Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point; James Tacata, housekeeper, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Avelina Remigio, room attendant, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Malou Blum, room attendant/ villa attendant, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club.

Security Officer of the Year

Shay “Liko” Nakaahiki, relief supervisor, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Henry Acosta, security officer, Lawai Beach Resort; Edward Subish, loss prevention officer, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach; Charlie Ortal, security officer, Princeville Resort; Blake Rafael, security officer, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Richard Talarico, loss prevention officer, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Dan Sheldon, security officer, Sheraton Kauai Resort; Donald “Dondi” Viquelia, loss prevention officer, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club.

Supervisor/Manager of the Year

Tammy Manaku, food and beverage supervisor, Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort; Patricia Ornellas, director of owner and guest services, Embassy Vacation Resort at Poipu Point; Robert Garcia, maintenance manager, Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai; Suann Notebo, executive housekeeper, Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach; Cheryl Alapai, executive sous chef, Princeville Resort; Helenda Bueno, assistant director of housekeeping, Lawai Beach Resort; Angelina Chua, director of restaurants, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club; Ruby Camarillo, guest relations manager, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club; Lucy Mehta, human resources manager, Hanalei Bay Resorts; Lori Nielsen, executive assistant manager, Waimea Plantation Cottages.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.