Over 330 local tourism industry insiders gathered last night at an event at Algonquin College to celebrate the achievements of front-line staff during the 23rd annual Ottawa Tourism Stars of the City Recognition Evening.
A total of 1,150 nominations were received from residents and visitors to the region over the past year, nominating front-line staff from 55 businesses for their real-life examples of excellence in customer service. Everyone who is nominated as a Star of the City receives a gold “star” lapel pin, a symbol of customer service excellence here in Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region.
An independent panel of judges comprised of industry leaders decided among 19 finalists to award the ultimate “2018 Star of the City” as well as winners in the following 7 categories.
OTTAWA TOURISM’S 2018 STAR OF THE CITY
Grand Prize Sponsored by Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association
Colette Latour – Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
Colette Latour’s story (story told by the nominator)
“My husband, who has mid-stage dementia and diabetes was on a flight from Dublin to Toronto when the plane was diverted to Ottawa. When I called the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel where my husband was staying to make them aware of his dementia, poor sense of time, and the fact that he had no working credit card or bank card, I spoke with Colette who gave me bus information and who arranged to have a bagged lunch packed for my husband so that he would have food on the road. Colette also came up with the idea of writing a discreet letter to the bus driver to alert him of my husband’s vulnerable situation and to provide my phone number so that he could contact me if needed. If Colette had not intervened to ensure my husband’s safety, he could have ended up lost in Ottawa. She accomplished this while interacting with all the other passengers who had been stranded in Ottawa. She had come in to work having lost the electricity in her own home the previous evening. Through all of this, she remained cheerful, and helpful. In the end, she asked me to call her back when my husband got home so she would know he arrived safely.”
HOST(ESS) WITH THE MOST(EST)
Sponsored by: Intercontinental Hotels Group
Christopher Ward – Lord Elgin Hotel
When a guest was driving from Ottawa to Toronto, Christopher printed up a special itinerary with points of interest.
ABOVE & BEYOND
Sponsored by: Ottawa Chamberfest
Colette Latour – Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
When an elderly guest was diverted to Ottawa, Colette ensured he had food and was cared for on the trip back to Toronto.
STARS WITH HEART
Sponsored by: Casino du Lac-Leamy
Frederique Ducharme – Westin Ottawa
When a guest from Nova Scotia arrived with a cooler of homemade food, Frederique arranged to keep it cold and left a cookbook and Nova Scotia mug for their daughter to remind her of home.
GO THE EXTRA MILE
Sponsored by: Ottawa International Airport Authority
Heather Mackay – Holiday Inn Ottawa East
Heather took time out of her day before her shift to tour a guest through the ByWard Market.
WHAT’S LOST IS FOUND
Sponsored by: Algonquin College
Brittany Kendell – The Metcalfe Hotel
Brittany ensured that a lost teddy bear had a good time in Ottawa before returning to his owners in France.
Sponsored by: Ottawa Council of Business Improvement Area’s
Paul Albert – Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
Paul’s dedication, loyalty and professionalism made his clients feel at home. “Paul stands out in an era of fast-paced, frenetic business – his charisma and ability to make us ”feel at home” was a true blessing,” they said.
Sponsored by: Ottawa Hotels of the Westmont Hospitality Group
Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa
From check-in to check-out, Les Suites staff left clients extremely satisfied with their stay and gave them all the helpful tips on what to see and do in Ottawa. “We will be staying at Les Suites in future because of the experience we had here in Ottawa,” recounted the clients.
Category winners received a beautiful crystal award along with a $250 VISA gift card courtesy of Ottawa Tourism and a $75 gift card from Blue Cactus Bar & Grill. The overall 2018 Star of the City received a larger crystal trophy, a $4000 travel credit courtesy of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association, an additional gift card from Ottawa Tourism and from Blue Cactus Bar & Grill.
Photo Credit: Mark Holleron