Sheela Martinez, an employee of The London West Hollywood hotel, has been given the Hospitality Heroes Adrian Award by the industry’s sales and marketing association for raising money for a troubled community in the Philippines.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is granting the awards to those who have taken a leadership position, championed a cause, or created a program that has directly benefited industry workers, medical personnel, first responders, or communities that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is truly incredible how hospitality professionals have stepped up during a time of crisis,” said the president and CEO of HSMAI, Robert Gilbert. “It’s true that hospitality is founded on a community of individuals who serve others before themselves. It is evident in their response to COVID-19, both personally and professionally – I could not be prouder.”
Martinez is The London West Hollywood’s front office assistant and manager. To celebrate her birthday, she assisted a community of ceramic potters in Santa Maria, Isabela, in the Philippines. She was born in the Philippines, and her grandparents still live there. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the selling of pottery, which was the Santa Maria community’s primary source of income. Martinez posted a call to action on her Facebook to raise money for relief bags. With each relief bag costing $6, it can feed a family of four. She planned to raise enough to feed 200 families, but had enough for about 500 relief bags in two days.
Martinez was nominated by Kenan Tekin, dual opening general manager for Hyatt House/Hyatt Place Los Angeles International Airport.
“She rallied a lot of us to donate and reach out to people who can donate. For a young individual at her age to help hundreds of families in need is commendable,” said Tekin.
The other recipients were: Mary Parks of Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis Downtown in Maryland, Jill Flynn of Hyatt Regency Dulles in Virginia, Jonathan DiFonzo of Cheney Brothers Inc. in Florida, and Ava Espano of Accor.
HSMAI is still accepting nominations for Hospitality Heroes leading up to the 64th Annual Adrian Awards. Incoming nominations will be reviewed each week by a panel of Adrian judges. To submit a nomination, visit HSMAI Hospitality Heroes. https://adrianawards.hsmai.org/hsmai-hospitality-heroes-an-adrian-awards-honor/