Hawaii Hospitality - September/October 2013 - (Page 12)

Heart & Soul of the Hospitality Industry BY JESSICA CRAWFORD When guests arrive at their hotel—whether coming directly from the airport or from a long day at the beach—they expect to find a clean, welcoming room. Since room cleanliness is key to hotel business, housekeeping professionals play a vital role in the hospitality industry. The individuals featured here not only meet their hotels' standards, they take pride in their jobs, gaining the respect of management and peers while providing guests with memorable vacations. Never Without a Smile - Wendell Serrano, General Attendant, Sheraton Resort on Kauai Hardworking, caring, genuine—the three words used by operations director, Kevin Vessel to describe Wendell Serrano. Originally from the Philippines, Serrano has been with the Sheraton Resort on Kauai for approximately seven years. “I love my job,” he states. With 394 rooms in eight separate buildings, “it’s a lot of exercise,” he says with a laugh. As a general attendant, Serrano is what is dubbed “a runner.” He’s responsible for delivering items to guests and coworkers, and keeping housekeeping carts stocked up on supplies. Management says he epitomizes what it means to be a true team player. A Caring Soul - Letecia Corpuz, Guest Room Attendant, Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa In the three years working as a guest room attendant at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa, Letecia “Lete” Corpuz has made an impact. Management says while Corpuz is among many of Sheraton’s team members who exude the spirit of aloha, “Lete is one of those team members who everyone knows and loves for her kindness and caring soul.” In a field that requires repetitious and physically challenging work, Corpuz has had perfect attendance since August 2010. “God gave me good health,” she says. Since she is such a reliable employee, management says they often turn to her for last-minute staffing needs. With Corpuz being a “floater” in housekeeping, she isn’t assigned to a specific section or floor of the hotel. She often jokes that all of the hotel’s 509 rooms are her “section,” treating each one as if it’s an extension of her own home. She’s lived in Hawaii for six years. Prior to the Sheraton 12 Serrano checks on colleagues whenever he has a chance and helps others without being asked, even if a task falls outside of his regular job duties. Whether it is assisting others to clean rooms or delivering needed items, management says Serrano never complains. “He is well liked by his peers,” says Vessel, who has worked with Serrano for approximately two years. “I have never heard anything negative about Wendell. He gets along with everyone.” Vessel says Serrano frequently goes above and beyond to help out team members. “He wants to see the person succeed in their job,” Vessel says. Management also says Serrano’s dedication to providing assistance to others makes the resort able to service its guests seamlessly—providing an excellent guest experience. Vessel says if he could clone Serrano, he would. “One thing I can say about Wendell is that he’s always smiling.” Hawaii Hospitality ■ September/October 2013 Kona, Corpuz worked in the Philippines and China. She worked in Hong Kong for 11 years, where she learned to speak Cantonese to better communicate with colleagues and guests. She speaks five languages. As an active member of the Kona Union Church, she hosts and leads a weekly Bible study and also sings in the choir. When asked to recall an instance that has stood out while working at the Sheraton, she mentions she was cleaning a guest’s room and was asked if she attended church. “They asked if I sang at my church. I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ Then they asked me to sing and I don’t know what happened,” she laughs, “but I started singing in front of them.” She sang “Amazing Grace” and went on to clean the guest’s room. They later left her a generous tip. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and growing flowers. She also likes to cook and, according to management, is very talented. She makes homemade treats, often using ingredients plucked from her garden. She arrives early to work to share the treats with her team. With gestures like this, it’s no wonder Sheraton management has said, “Lete is one of the sweetest individuals anyone might possibly meet. It is a pleasure to know and work with her.”

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - September/October 2013

Garden Isle's Ohana
Social Media
Visitor Sector Renovations
Featured Department: Housekeeping
New Restaurants
HLHF Expo Recap
Clean Talk with Rose
Talk Story with George Szigeti
Association News/News Brief

Hawaii Hospitality - September/October 2013